After playing one of their worst overall games in the past few seasons in a 49-30 loss to the Minneapolis DeLaSalle Islanders, the Colfax girls bounced back just 20 hours later for a 47-26 win over the Northwood Evergreens and saw senior Alexis Rudi break the girls’ school record by nailing eight three point shots in the win. Both games were part of the 21st Annual Chris Griffin Holiday Classic which was held Dec. 29-30 at UW-Stout.
Colfax had defeated the Islanders a year ago after losing three straight years to the team that has played in the Minnesota State tournament on a regular basis the last several years. According to coach Joe Doucette, the Vikings were absolutely manhandled and were outplayed in every aspect of the game this time around.
“DeLaSalle did everything they wanted, especially on the boards,” he said. “We gave up 18 offensive rebounds and we did not have one player work to box out or go after the ball. They were better and stronger at every position and they are very athletic.”
Colfax fell behind 17-6 after a quarter of play after struggling to get any offense going against the Islanders full court press as they turned it over five times in the quarter. Dannielle Dachel knocked down a triple in the second quarter, Christoffel hit a free toss and Dachel scored underneath on a Ally Heidorn assist but the half ended with Colfax down 28-12.
Things looked even more bleak in the third stanza when the Islanders went on a 10-0 run before Dachel dropped in a free throw with 1:35 showing on the clock to put the score at 38-13. Alexis Rudi canned her second trey of the game and it was 40-16 for the Islanders heading into the final quarter.
Colfax finally showed some life as Dachel scored on a deuce and a few seconds later, Chey Olson stole an inbounds pass and scored to make it 40-20. Karina Wait hit from the corner, Christoffel went to the charity stripe twice and drained four straight freebies then canned a triple, and a final free toss by Megan Schleusner ended the Colfax scoring and the game.
Colfax shot just 25% from the floor, hitting nine of 36 shots against the Islander defense that contested just about every shot they attempted. Dachel finished with 10 points to lead the team. Playing without Dempsey Fogarty, one of the team’s leading defenders who was gone on vacation (hope it was somewhere warm), gave Christoffel a chance to start and she made the most of it, scoring eight points including five of six free throws while grabbing five rebounds.
“This game exposed a lot of flaws and weaknesses of our team,” Doucette said. “Hopefully we can learn from it.”
MINNEAPOLIS DELASALLE (49) C. Speese 6-0-0-12, T. Toney 4-0-0-9, D. Speidel 3-0-0-7, A. Wilson 3-0-0-6, T. Bodden 2-1-2-5, P. Griffin 2-0-0-4, L. Rodgers 2-0-0-4, Z. Sellers 1-0-0-2
COLFAX (30) Dachel 4-1-2-10, Christoffel 1-5-6-8, Rudi 2-0-0-6, Olson 1-1-2-3, Wait 1-0-0-2, Schleusner 0-1-2-1
THREE POINTERS: Rudi 2, Christoffel 1, Dachel 1, Speidel 1, Toney 1
The Evergreens were 7-1 overall and 3-0 in the Lakeland Central Conference but the zone defense they chose to play didn’t have an answer for Rudi. She connected from long range four times in the first quarter alone, hitting from both sides of the line, and with a pair of free tosses by Christoffel and Olson along with a Heidorn triple, the Vikings took control early with a 19-5 lead.
Rudi’s continued her hot shooting as she opened the second quarter with another trey, and after Wait scored a pair of back to back buckets on a put back and a layup off her own steal, Dachel drained her own triple. Christoffel decided to get in on some of that long distance action as she canned the team’s seventh shot of the half from downtown and the Vikings were up 32-10 at the break.
The Evergreens extended their zone almost to the halfcourt point to start the second half in hopes of keeping the Vikings away from the basket. That didn’t deter Rudi and company however, as her teammates continued to find her open and fed her the ball. The basket must have looked as big as the Grand Canyon at this point, resulting in her hitting three more triples. Olson scored from the lane twice and Dachel hit from underneath, which ended up being the final Colfax points of the game. Northwood had some success driving to the hoop as they scored 10 points, all on shots in the paint but the Vikings were up 47-20 and they gave several backup players a chance to experience varsity action in the final eight minutes and were shut out during that time.
“It was just a great shooting performance by Alexis Rudi,” coach Doucette said. “She has been a big part of some very good teams in our program. She was in a great zone and her teammates did a nice job of finding her. Her eight-three point shots broke the school record of seven which was held by Courtney Doucette. We needed to bounce back after such a poor performance in the previous game. We played with more passion and moved the ball a lot better on offense, and chased down some rebounds. When we play hard, we are pretty good, but our margin of error is small and we are an average team if we don’t play our best,” he added.
Rudi had a career high 24 points as she was eight for 11 from behind the arc. Colfax was four for four from the charity stripe while Northwood was eight for 11. The Vikings will travel to Owen-Withee Jan. 5 then will play at home this Thursday against Elmwood-Plum City.
COLFAX (47) Rudi 8-0-0-24, Olson 2-2-2-6, Christoffel 1-2-2-5, Dachel 2-0-0-5, Wait 2-0-0-4, Heidorn 1-0-0-3
NORTHWOOD (26) E. Burns 4-1-1-9, M. Waggoner 3-3-4-9, J. Manor 1-4-6-6, M. Fosberg 1-0-0-2
THREE POINTERS: Rudi 8, Christoffel 1, Dachel 1, Heidorn 1