COLFAX — If ever there was a time for the Elk Mound girls’ basketball team to finally break their losing streak against the Colfax team, it was last Friday night. When the Mounders entered the Vikings’ home court Dec. 5, they held a 4-0 record and had won all of those conference games quite convincingly with a group of experienced players.
The Vikings were 2-0 and were still working on finding their starting lineup after losing most of their starters from last year. But after Colfax blew a nine point lead late in the third quarter and allowed the Mounders to go up by two with just under two minutes in the game, the Vikings came back with a couple of steals and free throws with a deuce in the mix to pull out a 50-48 win.
With both teams employing their usual full court presses for most of the game, it didn’t turn out to be very pretty for either team. There was a total of 55 turnovers throughout the contest, 29 by the Mounders and 26 from the Vikings. It looked like Kami King was working on a one girl show when she knocked down the first 12 points for the Mounders while Colfax was countering with points by Dannielle Dachel, Dempsey Fogarty, MaKenzi White and Chey Olson for a 12-12 knot. Sarah Winchester added a pair of buckets for the Mounders and Andrea Brantner hit a short jumper for Colfax as Elk Mound held a 16-14 advantage at the end of the first stanza.
Fogarty had a break out night defensively as she came up with her third of eight steals in the game early in the second quarter and scored on a layup for a 16-16 tie. The Mounders didn’t help themselves when they were called for their seventh foul with 6:49 to go in the half but White and Elk Mound’s McKenna McVey traded baskets before Chey Olson put Colfax up by four with back to back shots from the paint. Dachel swiped the ball away and went end to end for a layup and a 24-18 Colfax lead but with 11 seconds to go, Winchester scored on a spin move and a free toss to boot and the half ended with the Vikings up 24-21.
“I thought we kept our heads in the game and didn’t panic when Colfax took the lead a few times there,” Elk Mound coach Jordan Kongshaug said. “Our defense did a good job keeping them out of any rhythm. But we struggled ourselves with fouls and turnovers.”
Fogarty used her quick hands again and opened the third quarter with a steal and layup but Winchester countered with a triple to keep the score within two. Alexis Rudi was fouled attempting a three pointer and she calmly drained three freebies to put the Vikings up 29-24. Rudi then scored on a drive down the baseline and added a free toss and it was 32-24. And the Mounders came right back with McVey scoring on a fast break and Elizabeth Fasbender scoring her first points of the night on a trey to cut the Mounder deficit to 32-29. Rudi came up with another huge shot, canning a three ball from the top of the key before King hit a bucket and a free toss to keep it a four point game. After Dachel hit a pair of free throws and Rudi scored from close range, Dachel knocked down a shot from long range for a 42-33 lead. With 30 seconds left in the quarter, King drained her third triple and the Mounders were down 42-36 heading into the final eight minutes.
McVey scored on a put back and White hit from under the hoop to keep the Colfax lead at six at to 44-38 and the Mounders again added to their woes when they picked up their seventh foul with 5:20 to go. Luckily for them, Colfax was not having a good night at the foul line as they had hit only eight of 16 at this point. The next few minutes was a whirlwind of action as Colfax lost the ball three times and the Mounders missed a pair of open bunnies under the hoop. Fasbender finally put down a couple of free throws on the Viking’s seventh team foul and after McVey drove down a wide open lane for a deuce it was 44-44 with 2:28 to go. Kongshaug called a time out and the Mounders executed an in-bounds pass to perfection as Fasbender scored on a layup to put Elk Mound up by two. Rudi then went one for two at the foul line to cut the Mounder lead to 46-45 then White swiped the ball away off the press and went right to the hoop for two and a 47-46 Colfax lead. With 1:08 left, Winchester calmly canned two free tosses to regain the lead for the Mounders, then White found Fogarty under the basket for an easy deuce and Colfax was back up. Fogarty then came up with steal number eight a few seconds later and a big one it was as it led to Dachel getting fouled with 24 seconds left. Dachel hit one of two and the Vikings put enough defensive pressure on to force the Mounders into a long three point attempt which bounced off the rim and gave Colfax the two point win.
Elk Mound is very athletic and they really got after us the whole game,” a rather relieved Colfax coach Joe Doucette said. “They forced us into way too many turnovers but we kept ourselves in the game and stayed relatively calm. Dempsey’s hustle on defense was huge for us and MaKenzi played great defense underneath and had some big shots and assists. Alexis kept us in the game offensively in the second half, and when some of our kids were struggling, the rest of the team picked them up. Right now our defense is ahead of our offense but everyone contributed and that’s what we will need if we want to win games,” he added.
King led all scorers with 19 points with a trio of triples while Winchester added 14 points. McVey came up with five assists and four rebounds and Fasbender had four rebounds and two steals. The Vikings were led by Dachel and Rudi with a dozen points each with White adding 10. The Vikings came up with 18 steals in the game with Dachel finishing with six to go with Fogarty’s eight. Olson snared 11 boards and White had four assists in the game. The Mounders were five for 14 from three point land and five of 10 from the charity stripe, while Colfax hit just two of ten shots from behind the arc, and uncharacteristically for a Doucette coached team, were eight of 22 on free throws.
COLFAX (50) Rudi 3-5-7-12, Dachel 4-3-6-12, White 5-0-0-10, Fogarty 4-0-6-8, Olson 3-0-2-6, Brantner 1-0-0-2
ELK MOUND (48) King 8-0-1-19,Winchester 5-3-3-14, McVey 4-0-2-8, Fasbender 2-2-2-7,
THREE POINTERS: King 3, Fasbender 1, Winchester 1, Rudi 1, Dachel 1