The bitter cold weather didn’t cool the Colfax girls down as they traveled to Owen-Withee Jan. 5 and defeated the Blackhawks 60-46, then stayed in the warm confines of their own gym to resume conference play and took a hard fought 45-27 win over the newly combined Elmwood-Plum City Wolves Jan. 8.
The Blackhawks ended the 2014 season with a Division 5 state semi-final loss to Barneveld and are coached by Al Guthman, the coach with the second most wins in the state of Wisconsin. (Colfax coach Joe Doucette is ninth on the list). Seven of the players from last year’s team are back including All State guard Stephany Heggemeier so the Vikings knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task to pull out a road win. After falling behind 9-3, Colfax brought the score closer at 13-11 after the first quarter as Katie Christoffel, Dannielle Dachel and Karina Wait all connected from long range and Dempsey Fogarty hit a deuce in the quarter.
Fogarty had the hot hand all night, adding eight second quarter points on a short range shot and two more triples to help Colfax hold a 24-23 edge at the intermission.
“Owen-Withee attacked us early and they went inside with a lot of success,” Doucette said. “We had a lot of good looks before we started to make shots consistently.”
The Vikings continued to connect from long range as Chey Olson canned a trey, Dachel added her third one of the game and Andrea Brantner joined in with two of her own and Colfax took a five point lead at 44-39 into the final stanza.
Fogarty knocked down triples number three and four, Olson hit three times from the paint and Dachel and Wait added buckets to allow the Vikings to pull away in the final quarter.
“We had a better second half rebounding,” Doucette said. “Brantner’s ability to play tough inside is very important to us. Olson had six offensive rebounds with three big put backs. We had a hard time with Heggemeir and their two solid post players early on but we got better as the game went on. Not many teams go into Owen and get a win and the tough non-conference games like this will only help us,” he added.
Fogarty finished with a career high 19 points while Dachel came up with 13 points and Olson 12. Heggemeier led the Blackhawks with 19 points while her team was 13 for 23 from the foul line and the Vikings were two for four.
COLFAX (60) Fogarty 7-1-2-19, Dachel 5-0-0-13, Olson 5-1-2-12, Wait 3-0-0-7, Brantner 2-0-0-6, Christoffel 1-0-0-3
OWEN-WITHEE (46) Heggemeier 7-5-7-19, H. Hatlestad 3-0-0-9, W. Baehr 2-5-5-9, H. Brunnell 3-3-9-9
THREE POINTERS: Fogarty 4, Dachel 3, Hatlestad 3, Brantner 2, Christoffel 1, Olson 1, Wait 1
After combining teams this year, the team is now referred to as the E-PC Wolves and they brought a much improved group of girls over with plenty of depth.
Both teams struggled early offensively as the Wolves forced the Vikings into turning the ball over more then 10 times in the first half. But Fogarty, Olson and Wait all managed to score from under the basket and Dachel hit back to back triples to give Colfax a 12-6 first quarter lead.
E-PC had plenty of open looks at the hoop, but perhaps not expecting to see that many after so many years of being pounded by Colfax, they simply missed a lot of shots. Colfax added on points when Olson hit from underneath again, Fogarty drove the lane for two, then swiped the ball away off the press and scored again for a 18-6 lead. E-PC did all their scoring from the paint in the game, including three shots in a two minute span in the second stanza, two of which came off Colfax turnovers. Two Fogarty free tosses and a Wait bucket then gave the Vikings a 22-12 halftime lead.
If not for a spark from Ally Heidorn coming off the bench in the third quarter, the Vikings would have been shut out on the scoreboard. Neither team put any points up until the 3:40 mark and that was an E-PC shot on a put back. Heidorn then unloaded a trey from the right side of the circle but the Wolves countered with two free throws and a fast break basket to cut the Colfax lead to 25-18. In a matter of 20 seconds, Heidorn stole the ball and went back to her sweet spot to drill another triple, and on the next possession, Fogarty zipped a cross court pass to her in the same spot and she calmly nailed another one, giving Colfax all nine of their points for a 31-18 lead to end the quarter.
The Vikings finally started to wear the Wolves down as they pulled out to a 38-20 lead on two Dachel free throws, a two point shot from Heidorn and Dachel’s third triple of the night. After Wait’s trey, the Colfax scoring ended with a couple of freshmen entering the scoring column as Hailey Durand-Christianson canned a shot from behind the arc for her first varsity points and Mikaela Leibfried hit one of two free throws for her first varsity point.
“E-PC were very big and physical,” Doucette said. “We struggled early with a lot of unforced turnovers but got better with the ball the second half. Heidorn hitting those three pointers in the third quarter gave us some separation but we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds this game.”
Colfax finished with eight triples in the game and were five of 10 from the foul line. Dachel and Heidorn led the way with 11 points each as both connected for three treys. The Vikings’ defense held Cheyenne Caturia, the Dunn-St. Croix Conferences second leading scorer last year, to seven points in the game. Colfax is 7-0 in conference play and will host St. Croix Central Jan. 13 and travel to Spring Valley Jan. 16.
COLFAX (45) Dachel 3-2-2-11, Heidorn 4-0-2-11, Fogarty 3-2-2-8, Wait 3-0-0-7, Olson 2-0-2-4, Durand-Christianson 1-0-0-3, Leibfried 0-1-2-1
E-PC (27) T. Chilson 4-2-2-10, Caturia 3-1-1-7, A. Morrell 2-0-0-4, J. Holt 1-0-0-2, 1-0-0-2
THREE POINTERS: Dachel 3, Heidorn 3, Wait 1, Durand-Christianson 1