The Colfax boys had another busy week with three games, resulting in a 47-41 loss at Fall Creek Jan. 27, a 46-42 come from behind win at home against conference foe Spring Valley two days later, then ended the week on a sour note by getting crushed by Chippewa Falls McDonell in yet another Saturday game 68-45. The win over Spring Valley gave them a 7-2 conference record, keeping them in a tie for first with Elmwood-Plum City and they have an overall record of 9-6.
It was nearly as exciting –but certainly not as long—as the game the two teams played against each other last year when it took six overtimes before the Crickets pulled out a seven point win. But this game was close most of the way too, with the score tied at halftime and just a one point difference at the end of the third quarter before Fall Creek put the game away at the foul line.
Colfax was up 15-9 at the end of the first stanza on six points from Jeremiah Wait, four from Sawyer DeMoe, three by Kedar Davis and two from Jarrod Rudi. But DeMoe was the only one who put any points up for his team in the second on a free toss and a deuce and it was knotted at 18-18 at the intermission.
Rudi scored eight of the Viking’s 12 third quarter points including a triple just before the buzzer to give his team a 30-29 lead. Kedar Davis came up with six points in the final quarter on his second trey and three free tosses to go with a pair of Rudi deuces and a free throw from Wait. But the Crickets went up 36-33 with just under three minutes left then went 11 for 16 down the stretch at the charity stripe to earn the win.
Rudi led the Vikings with 14 points while the Colfax defense held Fall Creek’s leading scorer Matt Anderson to 14 points, seven under his average. The Vikings were 11 of 14 from the charity stripe and the Crickets were 16 of 21.
FALL CREEK (47) Anderson 4-6-6-14, C. Folkers 5-2-4-12, B. Walbeck 4-2-2-11, B. Meyer 0-5-6-5, D. Kinsella 1-1-3-3, S. Rubeck 1-0-0-2
COLFAX (41) Rudi 5-3-4-14, DeMoe 3-3-4-9, Davis 2-3-3-9, Wait 2-2-3-7, A. Harmon 1-0-0-2
THREE POINTERS: Davis 2, Rudi 1, Wait 1, Walbeck 1
Colfax won the first go round against the Cardinals early in the season but had to come from behind to do so. Spring Valley has been very competitive against every team in the conference this year so it was no surprise to coach Garrett Maas when the Cardinals came out ready to play. Colfax on the other hand was sluggish from the get go and came up empty on 10 possessions in the first quarter alone and were down 12-7 when it ended. The Cardinals upped their lead to 20-8 midway through the second stanza before DeMoe scored and added a free toss, then scored on a zippy pass from Wait to make it 22-13. After DeMoe’s put back and a Kragness free throw, the Vikings had closed the gap to 24-16 at the half.
The famous magician David Copperfield must have been in the Vikings’ locker room helping Maas with his halftime speech because a whole new team stepped on the floor in the second half. With the defense at full throttle throwing the Cardinals offense out of sync, Colfax pecked away and began gaining some ground on the scoreboard. DeMoe scored from close range, Davis drained his second triple and DeMoe hit again to get the score to 27-24. After a Spring Valley trey, Kragness went on a roll with a bucket and a pair of free tosses and a DeMoe deuce knotted the score at 30-30. Kragness scored the go ahead bucket with 1:35 left in the quarter and although the Vikings never trailed the rest of the game, they held just a 34-33 lead at the end of the quarter.
The lead was still only at a point halfway through the fourth at 38-37 before Kragness canned a long jumper and DeMoe scored from under the hoop for a 42-37 lead, but another Cardinal trey cut the lead to two. After DeMoe pulled down a huge defensive rebound, he barreled his way down court and added another bucket for a 44-40 edge with 1:20 to go. Rudi came up with a block and a steal and with 37 seconds left, the Cardinals needed to foul but had only four called on them at this point. They produced three quick ones, finally sending Colfax to the foul line. Their strategy seemed to work as a missed freebie resulted in the Cardinals getting the ball with 27 seconds left, and they scored on an offensive rebound, cutting the Colfax lead to 44-42 with 12 seconds left. Another missed free throw on the Colfax end gave Spring Valley the ball back but they misfired on another shot and Kragness punched the ball away and Davis chased it down. Davis then went to the foul line and iced the game with a pair of free throws with six seconds left for the four point win.
“We had to come from behind the first time we played Spring Valley and I told the kids we had to step it up if we wanted to stay at the top of the conference,” Maas said. “They did just that and made clutch free throws while making big defensive plays.”
DeMoe finished with 23 points to lead all scorers while Kragness added 10. Colfax was eight of 13 from the charity stripe and the Cardinals were one for two.
COLFAX (46) DeMoe 11-1-3-23, Kragness 3-4-6-10, Davis 2-2-2-8, Rudi 1-0-0-2, Wait 1-0-0-2, B. Prince 0-1-2-1
SPRING VALLEY (42) J. Helmer 5-1-2-11, L. Olson 4-0-0-10, S. Green 4-0-0-9, S. Bergerding 4-0-0-8, Z. Boisen 2-0-0-4
THREE POINTERS: Davis 2, Olson 2, Green 1
Chippewa Falls McDonell Central
Playing eight games in a 16 day span took its toll on the Vikings as they wore down in the second half in their first loss by more than eight points all season. After playing to an eight all tie after the first stanza, the Vikings pulled ahead at 10-8 on a Davis drive but gave up points on two Central free throws. DeMoe scored on a put back, added a free throw a couple of minutes later and hit from close range again for a 15-12 advantage but the Macks went on a six point run for an 18-16 lead. Davis canned a triple to regain the lead for Colfax but with under 30 seconds left in the half, Central put on a scoring exhibition, hitting two free throws, then stealing the ball a few times from the napping Vikings and hitting three shots for a 26-19 lead at the intermission.
Wait and Rudi were in foul trouble with Wait picking up his fourth with 2:48 left in the third quarter. Colfax was down 34-26 before Rudi scored on a spinning drive but those were the final points of the quarter for Colfax and they were down 41-28 heading into the final quarter. Davis drove through traffic for a bucket and DeMoe went baseline for another and the Vikings were back in business, cutting the deficit to nine at 41-32, but their seventh foul with 6:53 to go allowed Central to go to the charity stripe too many times. Hitting eight of 10 free throws and three triples,the Macks built their lead to 20 points and wore the Vikings down in the final few minutes. Both Rudi and Wait fouled out midway through the quarter, allowing Andrew Harmon and Brett Prince to get valuable playing time and Davis ended the game just as he did the Spring Valley game with a couple of free tosses.
DeMoe again led the Vikings with 17 points while Davis contributed with 14. Colfax finished 13 of 23 from the foul line and the Macks were 18 of 25.
McDONNEL CENTRAL (68) B. Retzlaff 3-6-6-14, S. Bleskachek 6-0-1-12, L. Schoch 4-0-2-8, K. Dorn 3-2-2-8, J. Davis 2-3-4-7, A. Ohde 1-2-2-4, N. Haglund 0-4-5-4, G. Knowlton 1-1-3-3, Z. Ruf1-1-2-3, B. Ruf 1-0-0-3, H. Baughman 1-0-1-2
COLFAX (45) DeMoe 6-5-7-17, Davis 4-4-5-14, Rudi 3-0-2-6, Wait 2-1-2-5, Prince 0-2-4-2, Kragness 0-1-2-1
THREE POINTERS: Davis 2, Retzlaff 2, Z. Ruf 1, B. Ruf 1