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Colfax girls need overtime for win over Elk Mound

ELK MOUND — The Lady Vikings took control of he Dunn-St. Croix Conference with a 49-45 overtime win over neighboring Elk Mound in front of a packed house on the Mounders’ home court Jan. 30.

After defeating the Mounders by a scant two points earlier in the season, it was no surprise this contest came right down to the wire again. Colfax entered the game with a 47 conference game winning streak and were 10-0, while the Mounders were just a game back with that loss and were the only team who have come close to putting a halt to both streaks. But after Elk Mound fell behind by as much as nine points midway through the third quarter, they fought back to knot things up in regulation before running out of gas in the overtime period, giving Colfax the win.

The game started 30 minutes late with the junior varsity teams setting the tone by going into overtime themselves. (Colfax won 37-33 with four free throws, three from Ally Heidorn). Although both teams used a full court pressing defense most of the game, the Mounders definitely had the Vikings struggling to get the ball down to their end of the court, resulting in at least eight empty possessions in the opening quarter. It was like a boxing match after that with the teams countering each other on every point as McKenna McVey opening the scoring with a put back for a 2-0 Mounder lead and an Allie Weber free toss made it 3-0. Karina Wait and Dannielle Dachel hit from close range to give Colfax a 4-3 lead and the lead see sawed again with Kami King driving through the lane for a 5-4 Mounder advantage. Dachel, who leads the conference in three point shots, drilled her only one of the game to give the Vikings the lead back, which was countered by King’s deuce for a 7-7 tie. Andrea Brantner dropped in a free toss for the Vikings but McVey, the leading scorer in the conference with a 13 point average, added a bucket off another offensive rebound and teammate Elizabeth Fasbender connected on a pair of free tosses. The Mounders’ tenacious defense then forced Colfax into a turnover and the quarter ended with Elk Mound up 11-8.

King added a runner in the lane early in the second quarter, but the Mounders were using a lot of energy on defense and ended up committing their seventh team foul at the 6:17 mark. Colfax took advantage of it as they went on a six point run which included a free throw from Brantner, another by Wait, a bucket from Chey Olson and a couple more free throws from Wait to put Colfax back up 14-13. Sarah Winchester then took things in her own hands as she put the Mounders back up in a span of 30 seconds when she scored off a steal with a layup, then drained a triple from a Viking turnover for an 18-14 advantage. Dachel canned a pair of free throws on the Mounders’ tenth team foul and Colfax had two more chances to tie things up before the half but came up empty and the Mounders enjoyed an 18-16 halftime lead.

“I thought our defense did what we needed to do,” Elk Mound coach Jordan Kongshaug said. “We took them out of their offensive rhythm with our pressure and kept the score close.”

Colfax’s Dempsey Fogarty and McVey traded deuces to open the third then Alexis Rudi nailed a trey to put the Vikings back up 21-20. And the boxing match continued as Fasbender scored from the paint, which in turn led to Rudi hitting in the lane on her end of the court. Colfax got the ball back and a near steal by the Mounders in the backcourt forced coach Joe Doucette to call a timeout, and coming out of the time out, Wait promptly canned a three pointer. The Vikings then forced a Mounder turnover and after six tries at the basket in which they collected seven offensive rebounds, Wait finally drilled another trey for a 29-22 lead. The Mounders came up empty on a three point attempt, then missed two shots on their next possession, resulting in Fogarty scoring on a fast break to up the Colfax lead to 31-22. Mounder freshman Weber canned a trey and after Dachel and Winchester traded free throws, the Vikings held a 32-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The home court advantage didn’t work for the Mounders as their opening three point shot of the quarter spun in and out of the hoop. Rudi then added a bucket off a pick and roll for a 34-26 Colfax lead but Winchester knocked down another trey to cut the margin to five. After Olson hit a pair of free tosses, both teams went cold from the floor for the next 2-3 minutes before Winchester hit from close range. After forcing another Viking turnover, Weber canned a shot from behind the arc to cut the deficit to 36-33 and King made it even closer with a runner in the lane. Wait came up with two free tosses on the Mounders seventh team foul, but Winchester brought the Elk Mound crowd to their feet with another triple to make it 38-38 with 1:30 to go. Both teams had scoring chances in the final minute but couldn’t convert and it was overtime in the Mounder den.

Colfax had only two team fouls at this point, and with the Mounders over their limit, it would seem like making free throws would be the difference at this point. But after Elk Mound was off the mark on a three point shot, Rudi canned one herself for a three point Colfax lead. The Mounders, who were shooting 28% from long range for the season, misfired on another three point attempt, and Olson found her shooting eye with a trey from the top of the circle for a 44-38 lead. However, Weber scored on a put back to cut the deficit to four before Olson and Rudi each hit a free toss and it was 46-40 for Colfax. Weber scored from close range again which was countered by two Dachel freebies and with 10 seconds left, Weber drained her second trey of the game with 10 seconds left to keep the Mounders in the game. But Weber fouled out, allowing Dachel to seal the deal at the charity stripe with one of two free throws.

“It was just a well played game by both teams, and I thought it was a much better played game by both teams this time around,” Kongshaug said. “We just gave up too many rebounds the second half and it’s hard to win games when you do that. Hopefully, we’ll get another chance at them in tournament play,” he added.

Three Vikings finished in double figures in the scorebook with Wait coming up with 13 points while Rudi and Dachel added 11 each. The Mounders were led by Winchester with 14 while Weber had a career high 13. Colfax was 17 for 27 from the foul line and had six triples in the game and Elk Mound was four of seven from the stripe with five treys on the night. Elk Mound committed 23 fouls with Weber and Winchester both fouling out, compared to 10 fouls by Colfax.

“Coach Kongshaug really had his team ready for us and they played extremely hard,” coach Doucette said. “It came down to us just making a few more plays and hitting some big shots. They made us earn every point and every time I thought we were OK and would pull ahead, they came right back. It doesn’t win anything for us yet but it puts us in a great position,” he added.

COLFAX (49) Wait 3-5-7-13, Rudi 4-1-3-11, Dachel 2-6-9-11, Olson 2-3-4-8, Fogarty 2-0-0-4, Brantner 0-2-4-2

ELK MOUND (45) Winchester 5-1-2-14, Weber 5-1-3-13, King 4-0-0-8, McVey 3-0-0-6, Fasbender 1-2-2-4

THREE POINTERS: Winchester 3, Weber 2, Rudi 2, Wait 2, Olson 1, Dachel 1