The road to the state tournament in Green Bay was tough enough last year for the Colfax girls’ basketball team but they managed to get there and bring home a silver ball. However, the road back proved to be a lot tougher as they defeated Boyceville 59-21 in a regional semi final game March 7 before losing to Mondovi 24 hours later 64-47. Both games were played in the Colfax gym.
After earning a first round bye as the number one seed, Colfax stayed within the conference and bombed the Bulldogs for the third time this year. Their defense did something no other team had done all year as they held the Bulldogs leading scorer Abbey Bird to a big goose egg in the scorebook. They also pretty much shut down their second leading scorer April Lake as they held her to just four points in the game, all on free throws.
Meanwhile, Colfax a took lead of 6-0 on deuces from three different players including Mallie Doucette, Alexis Rudi and Taylor Shipman and finished the first quarter with a 13-3 lead.
Doucette knocked down 6 of 6 free throws in the second stanza to go with five points from Chey Olson to help the Vikings hold a 32-14 advantage at the half, and after a couple of Lake free tosses early in the third quarter for Boyceville, the Vikings went on an 11 point run for a 46-16 lead after three quarters of play.
Emily Halpin came up with seven of her 10 career high points in the final quarter and Makenzi White-Quilling added a pair of close range shots to go with a pair of free tosses by Katie Christoffel to finish off the rout for the Vikings.
“It was great to get back on the court after an eight day lay off,” Colfax coach Joe Doucette said. “I could tell all week the kids wanted to play. It took a while for us to get going but again our ability to defend and rebound was key until we got going offensively.We had a lot of people contribute tonight.”
Doucette finished with 12 points for Colfax while Halpin and Shipman both collected 10.The Vikings were 17 for 23 at the charity stripe while Boyceville was 9 for 15.
COLFAX (59) Doucette 2-8-8-12, Shipman 5-0-0-10, Halpin 4-0-0-10, B. Steen 1-4-5-6, D. Dachel 3-1-2-7, Olson 2-1-2-5, White-Quilling 2-0-0-4, Rudi 1-0-0-2, Christoffel 0-2-2-2, D. Fogarty 0-1-2-1
BOYCEVILLE (21) M. Kuhn 2-0-0-5, C. Malean 2-0-0-4, M. Riek 0-4-6-4, Lake 0-4-6-4, B. Hellmann1-0-0-3, S. Marlett 0-1-2-1
THREE POINTERS: Halpin 2, Hellmann 1, Kuhn 1
For the second straight night the Vikings played a conference team they had beaten twice during the regular season. But everyone could tell from the get go this was a whole different Buffalo team than the one that lost to the Vikings here a month ago. Besides the two Colfax losses, Mondovi had lost only to Glenwood City and Durand for a 19-4 record and had just come off a big, come from behind win over highly touted Stanley-Boyd 24 hours earlier.
Mondovi had a game plan that worked pretty much all night as they used their speed and ball handling skills to break the usual stifling Colfax press, then knocked down seven triples while connecting on 29 of 35 free throws in the game. Meanwhile, Emily Stoughton, all five foot four of her, clung to Doucette like a wet blanket and didn’t allow her to even see the basket, much less get any shots off for most of the game. Doucette scored five of her nine points of the game from the free throw line while post player Braanna Steen came up with just eight points with four from the foul line.
The Vikings again led 6-0 on shots by Shipman, Doucette and Steen,but the Buffaloes went on an eight point run which included a triple by Jenna Franzwa. Doucette hit a free throw to regain the lead at 9-8 and Shipman knocked down another one but Mondovi knotted it up on a deuce. Jess Moonen added a free toss but another trey, this time by Sarah Kopp gave the Buffaloes a 13-11 lead. Doucette assisted Olson for two points but a pair of Mondovi free tosses left the Vikings down 15-14 after the first quarter.
The overly aggressive Buffaloes committed their seventh team foul just 10 seconds into the second quarter which usually plays in the Vikings favor. Colfax hit 8 of 12 freebies but their only points from the field came on a short range shot from both Dannielle Dachel and Steen. The score was tied at 17 after two Doucette free tosses and Dachel’s deuce off a put back along with Steen’s two free throws and jumper to give Colfax a 23-17 advantage.The Buffaloes picked up their tenth team foul and Rudi connected on three free throws, but a triple by Joann Harris knotted the score at 26-26. Doucette was called for her third foul with 30 seconds left in the half and two Mondovi freebies ended the half with them up 28-26.
“I thought we were building some momentum when we got a little lead,” Colfax coach Joe Doucette said. “But the momentum went their way when they tied it up. Mallie has not had three fouls called on her in a half all year and that changed things for us because we knew she had to be careful the rest of the way.”
That momentum stayed with Mondovi as they scored nine straight points to open the third stanza which included shots from behind the arc by two different players.Olson countered with a trey for the Vikings and Shipman scored in the lane but a Viking turnover resulted in another Buffalo trey. Colfax failed to score on three consecutive possessions before Dachel drained a long ball. But a spinning shot in the lane by Stoughton kept the Mondovi lead at 12 points, 46-34 heading into the final eight minutes.
But a Doucette coached team is never out of a game as the Vikings made a run halfway through the quarter. Shipman canned a triple, Dachel hit a pair of free throws, and Dempsey Fogarty slid in for a steal off the press and zipped a pass to Dachel for a bucket. After a Rudi free throw, the Vikings were within six points, down 50-44 and after forcing a tie up, the possession arrow was in their favor. They missed on a three point attempt however, and the Buffaloes controlled the ball for 90 seconds by using long, quick passes and the fouling game began for Colfax. Mondovi went to the free throw line numerous times in the last two minutes as Dachel, Doucette, Shipman and Steen all finished the game on the bench with five fouls. Stoughton, who averages seven points a game, connected on 12 of 18 freebies in the final quarter to finish things off and had a season high 21 points in the game.
“We really wanted to win this game and I thought we were prepared,” coach Doucette said. “But Mondovi has a ton of seniors and are playing with a lot of confidence right now. They shot better than we did and played better defense. The one thing I was worried about was if we got behind whether we would be able to come back. We haven’t played from behind all year except for by small deficits but when they went out to a 10-12 point lead, we did not react great.We hustled but left some offense and some stops out there. It was a tough way to end a great year,” he added.
Doucette and Dachel both ended the game with nine points while Steen and Shipman added eight each.The Vikings were 17 for 29 from the foul line. Colfax ended the season with a 22-1 record.
MONDOVI (64) Stoughton 3-14-19-21, Franzwa 3-5-6-12, O. Weiss 3-0-0-7, Kopp 2-2-2-7, M. Lund 1-4-4-6, Harris 2-0-0-6, C. Kent 0-2-2-2, M. Mahlum 0-2-2-2
COLFAX (47) Doucette 2-5-5-9, Dachel 3-2-2-9, Shipman 3-1-4-8, Steen 2-4-8-8, Rudi 1-4-7-6, Olson 2-0-0-6,
THREE POINTERS: Olson 2, Harris 2, Franzwa 2, Dachel 1, Shipman 1, Stoughton 1, Weiss 1, Kopp 1