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Five Colfax seniors complete successful careers on basketball court

To say the five seniors on this year’s basketball team for the Colfax girls ended their high school careers with plenty to be proud of may be an understatement. Two of the five were four year varsity players including Dannielle Dachel and Alexis Rudi, while Chey Olson earned three letters and Karina Wait and Katie Christoffel both saw action for two years on the varsity. In four years, the Vikings were 61-1 in conference play, winning the Dunn-St. Croix all four times, and were 89-11 overall. They also won three regional titles and a sectional title that led them to a silver ball at the WIAA state tournament their sophomore year. The team ended this conference season on a 51 game winning streak that began back in February of their freshman year.

Dachel was a four year starter at the point guard position and was pretty content her first three years dishing the ball off to her teammates and taking an occasional shot. But she became the team leader as a senior as she led not only the team but the whole area in three point goals with 62 of them coming off 154 attempts for a pretty good 40%. 186 of her 342 team leading points this season came from behind the arc while 50 came from the foul line where she shot 70%. She also led the Vikings in assists with 51 and showed off her defensive abilities by finishing second on the team with 51 steals while gathering 89 rebounds. Although she had a career high of 21 points in the regular season contest against Eau Claire Regis, Dachel scored a combined 36 points in the two regional wins and 18 in the sectional semi-final loss to Fall Creek, who happened to play at the state tournament last weekend. Dachel finished second in the conference in scoring with a 13 point average this year and after being selected Second Team All Conference as a junior, she not only moved up to the First Team this year, she was chosen D-SC Conference Player of the Year. Her career totals are: 612 points, 232 rebounds, 153 assists, 139 steals and seven blocked shots. Her overall three point shot percentage was 35% on 104 of 290 attempts, making her one of just a few girls who have made over 100 triples in their career as a Viking.

Rudi saw plenty of action all four years despite dealing with chronic migraine headaches. She was another three point specialist as she collected 70 of them in her career on 224 attempts for 31%. She was definitely in the zone in the game against Northwoods played at UW-Stout her senior year when she scored a career high 24 points, all from behind the arc on eight of 13 attempts. She knocked down 96 of 146 free throws for 65% shooting in her career and totaled 425 points, 117 rebounds, 67 steals and 94 assists. She tied for third on the team with 18 steals her sophomore year, and was second in triples behind Dachel and fourth in assists this year. She was a Second Team All Conference pick this year for her performance.

As one of the tallest player on this year’s squad at 5’8, Olson held her own in the post, and usually played against a lot of taller and bigger players. She led the Vikings in rebounding with 185 this season and in blocks with 12, was second in scoring with 163 points and was third in both assists with 48 and steals with 35. She had a career high 12 points in games against Owen-Withee and St, Croix Central as a senior and in her three years she finished with 307 points, 331 rebounds, 66 assists, 69 steals and 14 blocked shots. She was named to the D-SC All Conference First Team this year.

Resiliency was the key for Wait as she dealt with a torn ACL early in her career. She saw a little playing time as a sophomore and more in her junior year, but really made her name known her senior year. As a starter, she was fifth on the team in scoring with 129 points which included 12 triples and was third in the rebounding department with 98. She added 17 assists and 27 steals and had a career high 13 point game against Elk Mound. She totaled 158 points, 122 rebounds, 19 assists and 34 steals in 54 games. She was an Honorable Mention All Conference selection as a senior.

Christoffel displayed the true meaning of perseverance, working her way up through the junior varsity ranks to be the first player off the bench most of her senior year. Playing in just two games as a junior, she played in all 25 as a senior, scoring 75 points while snaring 26 rebounds with 22 assists and 20 steals which was fourth for the team. She had a career high eight points in three contests this year including both Mondovi games and against Minnesota powerhouse DeLaSalle, and she shot 30% from long range on 12 of 40 three point attempts.

Coach Joe Doucette had nothing but praise for his seniors throughout the season.

“All five of these girls are great kids and have done a ton for our program,” he said. “They all come from great families and all were great teammates and were very unselfish. The 89 wins they accumulated was just two short of our school record. They came a long way from the beginning of the season to win a conference and regional championship. After losing a great group of players last year, they really worked hard and had a good season.They will be tough to replace next year,” he added.