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Colfax girls escape with win over Spring Valley but lose to SCC

A much improved Spring Valley team gave the Colfax girls all they could handle, forcing the Vikings to come from behind midway through the second half before pulling out a 48-41 win at home Dec. 17. Things didn’t work out as well however when St. Croix Central came to town two days later as the Panthers avenged a pair of losses a year ago to the Vikings and won this won 46-36.

Spring Valley

Whew! That was the sound Colfax coach Joe Doucette  and the Colfax fans all made when the final buzzer sounded to give the Vikings the hard earned win. After defeating Spring Valley a year ago by 40 and 42 points during the regular season, this was obviously a much better team that showed up to play on this night.

It appeared it was going to be a run away again however, when the Vikings jumped out to  a 17-4 lead which started on a Bryanna Buchanan fast break layup. But the Cardinals began pecking away and the Vikings found themselves up by just a point at 22-21 before Hailey Durand-Christianson drained a triple from the top of the circle to go up by four.

Spring Valley responded on a free throw and the third trey of the half from Christa Brorson and after the Vikings failed to add any points when they had the ball for the final minute of the half, it was knotted at 25-25 at the break.

“We got out to a good start but were really outplayed near the end of the half,” Doucette said. “We had a hard time keeping Spring Valley off the boards and defending Brorson and (Becky) Fesenmaier.”

Buchanan and Dempsey Fogarty put on a little show to start the second half as Dempsey came up with a steal and dished to Buchanan for a layup, and after the Cardinals missed from under the basket, Buchanan found Fogarty under the Colfax basket for another close range shot and a 29-24 lead.

Spring Valley knotted things up again however on a pair of deuces before Alyssa Dachel hit from the top for a long two and a 31-29 Colfax advantage.

And for the first time in many years, the Cardinals took the lead at 32-31 when Brorson canned another triple after the Vikings came up empty on three straight possessions.

Colfax misfired on another shot but Durand-Christianson snared the rebound and dished to Ally Heidorn who scored and added the free toss, giving the Vikings a two point lead.

The Cardinals added a free throw but Colfax upped their lead to six when Savanna Henricks hit from the paint and Heidorn canned a trey.

The game was certainly not on ice yet however, as the Cardinals kept it at a one possession game with just over four minutes to go.

The defensive play of the game came about after the Vikings missed on a long shot and the rebound was headed out of bounds. Fogarty dove, snared the ball while on the ground and fired it to a teammate who found Dachel at the top of the three point circle.

The  freshman calmly drained the three point shot for a six point lead at 43-37 and the Cardinals came back again with a pair of free throws.

With Spring Valley shutting down the middle most of the night, Fogarty finally found a hole and scored in the lane and a Heidorn free toss made it 46-39 with two and a half minutes left. Cardinal coach Brady Hoolihan decided to play the fouling game and it might have worked if the Cardinals had made some shots.

Five different Vikings went to the charity stripe and combined to make just 2 of 10 free throws, making the final score closer than it should have been. But the end result was another conference win, the 55th consecutive one for the Vikings.

“We were fortunate to win because we did not play very well tonight,” Doucette said. “We defended a touch better in the second half and got after some loose balls. We knew it would be tough but we found a way to win.”

Balanced scoring was a key for the Vikings with Heidorn leading with 13 points while Dachel added 10 and Henricks nine. Brorson and Fesenmaier combined for 33 of the Cardinals points with Brorson hitting all four of their three point shots. Colfax was 5 for 15 from the foul line and Spring Valley was 7 for 15.

Colfax (48) Heidorn 4-3-7-13, Dachel 4-0-3-10, Henricks 4-1-2-9, Buchanan 3-0-0-6, Fogarty 2-1-2-5, Durand-Christianson 1-0-0-3, E. Hurlburt 1-0-1-2

Spring Valley (41) Fesenmaier 7-3-6-17, Brorson 6-0-2-16, T. Huntress 1-2-3-4, J. Dieckman 1-0-0-2, A. Lee 0-1-2-1, K. Rustad 0-1-2-1

Three pointers: Brorson 4, Heidorn 2, Dachel 2, Durand-Christianson 2

St. Croix Central

It appears to be a good thing the Panthers moved out of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference this year or that long streak for the Vikings would be over. Central is another one of those teams who have improved this season and showed it by breaking the Colfax full court press most of the game and scoring points off it. The Vikings trailed at halftime 19-17 after scoring 12 of those points from long range shots. Dachel canned three treys while Heidorn added one with a deuce and the only other Colfax points came from a Henricks bucket and a Fogarty free throw.

Henricks drained a triple early in the second half to make it 26-23 for Central but the Panthers responded with their own trey and began to pull away. Fogarty pulled down a defensive rebound and dribbled end to end for a layup and added a free toss with it to leave Colfax down 29-25 but a nine point run for Central gave them a 13 point advantage with just over four minutes to go.

Heidorn hit from underneath and canned a couple of free throws to cut the deficit to seven at 38-31 but missed opportunities in the shooting department along with Central making free throws didn’t allow Colfax to get any closer. Henricks closed out the Vikings’ scoring with a trey and a pair of free tosses late in the game.

Only four players scored for Colfax with Dachel and Henricks leading with 12 points each. The Vikings were 5 for 11 from the foul line and Central was 9 of 16.

Colfax will play next at UW-Stout against Minneapolis DeLaSalle Monday, Dec. 28 at 6:00 and Dec. 29 against Ashland at 6:00, again at Stout.

St. Croix Central (46) K. Cress 4-1-2-13, E. Landry 5-1-2-11, M. Krogseng 3-3-6-9, C. Frankrewicz 3-1-2-7, A. Kopacz 1-0-0-3, M. Laventure 0-3-4-3

Colfax (36) Henricks 4-2-2-12, Dachel 4-0-0-12, Heidorn 3-2-4-9, Fogarty 1-1-5-3

Three pointers: Dachel 4, Cress 4, Henricks 2, Heidorn 1, Kopacz 1