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Colfax senior girls leave program with 91-10 record

COLFAX — There have been a lot of ups and downs for the Colfax girls’ basketball team over the last four years but there is no disputing the success the team has had. Six seniors including Mallie Doucette and Braanna Steen have been varsity players all of those years, Taylor Shipman was a three year varsity player and Emily Halpin played two years. Jessica Moonen and Katlin Sauerwein battled injuries throughout their careers but both had a productive senior year for the Vikings.

Not only did the team have an impressive overall record of 91-10 in the past four seasons, their conference record was 63-1 with their only loss coming against Boyceville back in February of 2012. They definitely loved playing in front of their home crowd as they compiled a record of 43-3 in the Viking’s gym. Six of the 10 losses they had were to teams that went on to win state championships including Minneapolis DeLaSalle (3), Eau Claire Regis (2) and Algoma (1). These girls have won four conference titles, two regional titles, one sectional title and brought home the silver ball as the runner up in the WIAA state tournament last season. They found out how difficult it is to get back to the big show however, as they suffered a disappointing loss to Mondovi in a regional contest this year.

Mallie Doucette was the proverbial gym rat, basically growing up around basketball so it was no surprise she was a varsity player as a freshman. She concluded her high school career as a three time First Team All Conference player and was named this year’s conference Player of the Year. She was also a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All State player last year and more than likely will receive more honors in the next few weeks. Those of you who follow the team know Mallie broke the 1,000 point barrier this season and finished with 1,102 points which places her fourth on the Colfax all time career points list. Fans know she was not afraid to challenge any defender in the lane as she drove through them for a lot of those points, and she could hit from the outside, ending her four years tied for third place in three pointers, knocking down 117 of  333 chances for 35%. But draining free throws is what she will be remembered by as she has the highest percentage in school history from the charity stripe, knocking down 269 of 346 attempts for 77%. She collected 430 rebounds and led the team in assists her junior and senior years, totaling 209 in four seasons, and was also the team leader in steals her sophomore and senior years, finished with 225 total. Mallie played in 101 games for the Vikings and had a career high of 24 points against Hayward as a sophomore. Mallie will continue her basketball career with an academic/athletic scholarship to Minnesota State-Moorhead next year.

“Mallie was fundamentally solid and did everything we asked her to do for us,” her coach and father Joe Doucette said.

Braanna played almost two years with a torn ligament in her knee and will be having surgery this spring to prepare for a college career at the University of Dubuque in Iowa for former Colfax resident Mark Noll next year. Braanna leaves the program tenth on the all time scoring list with 764 points in 87 games and finishes near the top in rebounds, blocked shots and free throw shooting percentage. She led the Vikings in blocked shots her sophomore, junior and senior years, tallying 112 for her career and collected 363 rebounds, leading the team in that department with 132 this year. She added 97 assists and 55 steals total.She canned 196 of 263 free throw attempts for 74% and also knocked down 45 triples, and had a high game of 24 points twice, against Eau Claire Regis her junior year and Boyceville as a senior. She is a two time First Team All Conference player as a junior and senior.

“Braanna had an uncanny ability to score inside and outside for us,” coach Doucette said.

Taylor started in four games as a sophomore but really made her presence know during her junior and senior years. She was a key reserve as a junior and played in all 26 games, then started in every game this year. She tallied 306 points for her career which included 28 triples, and knocked down 88 of 136 free throws for 64%. She collected 182 rebounds, 97 assists and 51 steals along with 24 blocks. As a senior she  was third on the team in scoring with 144 points and had a career high 15 point game against DeLaSalle. She also finished fourth on the team in the rebounding department with 67 and was an honorable mention All Conference pick for her efforts this year. She hopes to try out for the UW-Oshkosh team next fall.

“Taylor is the type of kid every program needs,” coach Doucette said. “She is a tough kid who plays hard and is very unselfish. She defends, rebounds and is a good passer.”

Emily spent time on the junior varsity and played in 10 varsity games as a junior then had a big role as Braanna’s backup as a senior, playing in  23 games this year. She totaled 51 points, 67 rebounds, eight assists and one steal. She canned a pair of triples both seasons and scored a game high 10 points against Boyceville in the regional game this year. She also had a career high seven rebounds in a game against Plum City this year.

“Emily filled a big role with her ability to rebound, defend and score at important times,” Doucette said. “She was a true team player and was very unselfish,” he added.

Jessica spent a lot of time recovering from a torn ACL which really gave her just her senior year to showcase her talents. Shooting from long range was her biggest asset as she hit 17 treys this season and had 18 in her career. 67 of her total 70 points came as a senior which included 11 of 24 free throws. She picked up 28 rebounds, eight assists and five steals in 21 games.

“Jess was a big shot maker off the bench and she had a big role in our 21-1 record this year,” Doucette commented.

Katlin persevered through a tough season with a leg injury but when she was healthy she was very effective inside, according to Doucette. In four games as a junior and 15 this year, she collected 26 points and 31 rebounds. She also had six blocks this year and one steal and one assist.

“Katlin was strong inside and had soft hands with a nice shooting touch,” Doucette said. “Battling injuries really took a lot of playing time away from her.”

“Overall, this group of girls had a big impact on Colfax athletics this year,” he added. “They were very team orientated and they all loved to play basketball. They had the most wins of any four year group in Colfax history and they had a ton of success and always played with class and character,” he concluded.