The week didn’t start out so well for the Colfax boys’ basketball team when they dropped their second straight conference game (and third straight overall) 52-38 in a make up game at home against Mondovi January 13. After a game at Flambeau was postponed until February 3 due to inclement weather, the Vikings bounced back with a 54-25 win on their home court over Plum City, Jan. 16, then remained in the confines of their own gym for a Saturday evening non-conference game and used a strong fourth quarter to earn a 69-48 win over Cadott.
Only four players scored points for both teams but the difference in the game was the Buffaloes had three finish in double figures while the Vikings had just two accomplish the feat. Ethin Kiekhafer and Sawyer DeMoe accounted for 33 of the Vikings 38 points in the game with DeMoe collecting 10 of his 14 in the first half and Kiekhafer scoring 11 of his 19 in the second half.
There were six lead changes in the first quarter that ended with Mondovi holding a 15-11 lead. The Buffaloes were hot from long range as Erich Wolf knocked down his third triple of the game early in the second quarter for a 20-13 lead but Kiekhafer countered it with his own. Quinn Buchholz hit another trey for Mondovi but five points by the Vikings, coming from a put back by DeMoe and another long ball from Kiekhafer brought the Vikings to within two points. For the second straight quarter, Mondovi had the ball with over 30 seconds left, choosing to play for the last shot but the Colfax defense did not allow them to get a decent look at the basket either time and the half ended with the Vikings down 23-21.
Three empty possessions by Colfax to start the third stanza led to Wolf dropping in another triple and Zach Ganschow scoring on a layup off a steal five seconds later and the Vikings were quickly down 28-21. Kiekhafer canned another trey but the Buffaloes rattled off eight consecutive points with six coming from two more Wolf triples and the hole was getting deeper for Colfax as they found themselves down 36-24. Jarod Rudi broke the Mondovi run with a drive in the lane and DeMoe added a deuce but it was Brett Vetterkind’s turn to hit from long range and Mondovi, after missing again on the final shot of the quarter, led 39-28 at the end of three.
Kiekhafer started off the fourth with a bang, nailing a triple and a short jumper while DeMoe hit on a layup, and just like that, Colfax was down by just four points at 39-34. But Mondovi, playing with nine seniors this year, kept their poise and with help by Colfax committing their seventh team foul with 4:49 left and not having any called on themselves at this point, went to the charity stripe numerous times and hit enough freebies to pull away for the win. The Buffaloes finished 14 of 16 from the foul stripe with 11 in the fourth quarter while Colfax was 4 of 9 in the game. Mondovi ended the night with eight three pointers, six from Wolf while Kiekhafer knocked down all four of the Viking’s triples in the game.
“We were not aggressive in our shooting and settled for too many jump shots tonight,” Colfax coach Garrett Maas said. “Our strength is at the free throw line and we need to drive and draw fouls and we didn’t do that.”
MONDOVI (52): Wolf 7-3-3-23, Vetterkind 3-4-4-11, Buchholz 3-4-5- 11, Ganschow 2-3-4-7
COLFAX (38): Kiekhafer 7-1-1-19, DeMoe 7-0-0-14, Rudi 1-1-2-3, J. Wait 0-2-6-2
THREE POINTERS: Wolf 6, Kiekhafer 4, Vetterkind 1, Buchholz 1
Even though they came over on some treacherous roads, a dose of the 3-5 Blue Devils was just what the Doctor ordered (perhaps Doc Phillips?) as the Vikings got back into the win column. Junior Grant Phillips made the most of his first varsity start as he scored the first five points of the game on a give-and-go and a free toss, followed by a put back. He then assisted DeMoe for a bucket, and with a deuce from close range by Rudi off an inbounds pass and another two pointer by Ben Kragness, Colfax was up 11-0. Plum City got on the board at the 3:35 mark of the quarter on a triple, one of just four made all night on 21 attempts. A Kiekhafer trey and a drive by Rudi increased their lead to 16-3 and Kiekhafer drained another long ball as the Vikings held a 19-8 lead after eight minutes of play.
Phillips added another old fashioned three to start the second quarter and the Vikings began to pull away even more as the lead went to 16 points at 33-17. A Plum City trey ended the half with Colfax up 33-20.
“We really emphasized going strong to the basket tonight,” Maas said. “We wanted all the players to attack the rim.”
A put back by Phillips increased their lead to 40-20 late in the third quarter and the Vikings were scoring in the paint consistently in the fourth quarter as the lead went to 29 points. Phillips and DeMoe both found the hoop twice on some fast break baskets with a couple of Kiekhafer free tosses in the mix and Andy Larson capped the Colfax scoring off with a long deuce.
“We had some nice balanced scoring tonight,” Maas said. “We got some great minutes from all our players and Jarod Rudi did a great job holding their leading scorer to just five points,” he added.
Phillips led all scorers with a career high 17 points while DeMoe added 15 and Kiekhafer 10. The Vikings were called for just 13 fouls in the game while Plum City was whistled for 11.
COLFAX (54) Phillips 7-3-5-17, DeMoe 7-1-2-15, Kiekhafer 3-2-2-10, Rudi 2-0-0-4, Kragness 2-0-2-4, Wait 1-0-0-2, Larson 1-0-0-2
PLUM CITY (25) A. Coss 3-0-0-8, Gilles 3-0-0-5, W. Schultz 1-1-3-4, C. Longsdorf 1-0-0-3, B. Funk 0-2-2-2, H. Schoen 1-0-0-2, A. Boyer 0-1-4-1
THREE POINTERS: Kiekhafer 2, Coss 2, Gilles 1, Longsdorf 1
The Hornets were coming off a close win over Western Cloverbelt Conference opponent Stanley-Boyd just 24 hours earlier and pulled out to a 7-4 lead before Kiekhafer knotted it up with the first of his seven triples of the game. His second one came with an added free throw for an 11-7 lead and his third from the same spot made it 14-9, and with DeMoe’s third shot from the paint, this one from a Wait assist, Colfax held a 16-12 lead after the first quarter.
The Vikings used quick ball movement to find open players as Phillips scored on a put back, Rudi hit a short jumper and a Wait to Kiekhafer to DeMoe series of passes led to DeMoe scoring from underneath, and he added another just a few seconds later for a 25-14 advantage. Colfax got a little sloppy in the next few minutes as there was a flurry of activity on both ends of the court, resulting in three empty possessions. Phillips added a free toss and Rudi dropped in a pair of them, but for the second straight quarter, the Vikings failed to convert on the final possession and held just a 28-20 halftime lead.
The teams played pretty even the third quarter with the Vikings outscoring the opponents 17-16. Kiekhafer led the way with his fourth and fifth treys to go with a couple of free tosses in between and DeMoe came up with two close range shots and a free throw while Phillips crashed the boards hard and scored twice on offensive rebounds. The Hornets knocked down four shots from long range in the stanza to keep them in the game and the Vikings led 45-36 heading into the final eight minutes.
Kiekhafer opened the quarter with a baseline drive for two and there must have been a sweet spot on the floor as he drilled another trey from the right side of the circle, Rudi followed suit from the same spot and Kiekhafer went right back to it for his final triple of the game to give Colfax a 56-39 lead. The Hornets had lost their buzz and sting by this point and the Vikings finished them off with points from DeMoe underneath, Kragness also under the hoop after being double teamed, Rudi on an end to end layup, another DeMoe bucket and free toss, two freebies from Phillips and two more by Kedar Davis.
“We used our height advantage and attacked the basket really well tonight,” Maas said. “They couldn’t match up with our big guys and we had to exploit that. We controlled the boards most of the game and came up with big shots when we needed them.”
Kiekhafer ended the night with a career high 26 points including those seven triples while DeMoe added 20 points and Rudi 10. The team hit 12 of 20 free throws and nine three pointers while Cadott was 6 for 13 at the charity stripe and connected on eight treys. The Vikings are now 8-4 on the season and 5-2 in conference play. They will travel to Spring Valley Jan. 21 for a double header with the girls also playing there, then will host Boyceville Jan. 24.
COLFAX (69) Kiekhafer 8-3-3-26, DeMoe 9-2-4-20, Rudi 3-2-4-10, Phillips 3-3-5-9, Davis 0-2-2-2, Kragness 1-0-2-2
CADOTT (48) E. Michael 5-1-1-13, B. McChesney 5-1-1-13, B. Kyes 4-0-5-9, K. Thom 2-0-0-6, C. Seibel 1-2-3-4, S. Sedlacek 1-0-0-3
Kiekhafer 7, Rudi 2, McChesney 2, Michael 2, Thom 2, Sedlacek 1, Kyes 1