Colfax girls dropped by DeLaSalle
UW-STOUT — Although they scored their highest point total of the season, it wasn’t enough as the Colfax girls lost to Minneapolis DeLaSalle 78-74 in their first game of the Chris Griffin Memorial AAU Holiday Classic held at the UW-Stout Fieldhouse Dec. 28. But 24 hours later, they bounced back with a 43-36 win over the Ashland Oredockers.
The Islanders have been a powerhouse among Minnesota schools, having won state championships in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and although they have a new coach this year, they are still ranked in the top 10 in their division this year.
Their fast paced, aggressive style came through early when they forced a couple of Colfax turnovers and scored from under the hoop and from long range for a 9-4 advantage. The Vikings’ Bryanna Buchanan hit a layup, and a long Aaron Rodgers type pass to an open Dempsey Fogarty resulted in another layup to cut the deficit to 9-8, but the Islanders moved back up 22-13 before Emma Hurlburt and Fogarty both hit a pair of free tosses to close the gap. Alyssa Dachel added her own two free throws and Ally Heidorn scored from under the hoop to keep the Vikings within seven, down 28-21 and after Megan Schleusner scored on a drive in the lane, it was 30-23. Buchanan made one of several huge defensive plays of the game when she came up with a steal while laying on the floor and managed to call a time out before getting called for traveling.
Someone on the Islanders bench wasn’t happy about the call however, resulting in a technical foul with Heidorn getting a couple of free shots. Heidorn hit one, but after a pair of turnovers on the Vikings’ part, in the blink of an eye, DeLaSalle canned back to back triples and they were up 36-24.
The Colfax girls had trouble getting the ball in the basket throughout the first half, missing several shots from underneath as they tried to get around the long arms of the Islander players, and they closed out the half by misfiring on two long range shots and went into the break down 42-36.
Things were looking even more dismal in the first few minutes of the second half when Colfax fell behind 49-26 but as everyone who follows this team found out earlier, these young girls are never down and out as they went on an eight point run started by Fogarty’s drive in the lane. Buchanan canned a triple and Fogarty nailed a long jumper to go with a Heidorn free toss and they were down just 49-34.
After Fogarty slid between a trio of Islanders to snare a defensive rebound, she slithered downcourt with her left handed dribble and went right to the hoop for two more points.
After another Islander trey, Savannah Henricks hit from underneath for the Vikings and with just over 10 minutes left, Schleusner scored from behind the arc which was followed by another steal by Colfax and yet another Fogarty end to end bucket to get the Vikings closer at 56-43.
The basket started looking bigger for the Vikings at this point with Henricks draining a triple then dropping in a pair of free throws. Fogarty dished off to Dachel who calmly canned her own trey, then Dachel found an open Henricks on a fast break, allowing her to score on a layup while getting fouled in the process. After connecting on the free throw, suddenly with seven minutes left, the Vikings were down just 58-54. In another flurry of events, Buchanan and Dachel came up with back to back steals resulting in Hurlburt and Heidorn each hitting a free throw and it was 58-56 with 6:13 to go.
The Islanders coach finally took a time out to settle her team down, and they came back on the court to score on a drive through the middle rather quickly. After the Vikings missed shots on two straight possessions, All-Minnesota State player Azia Wilson nailed a triple to make it 63-56 in the Islanders favor. They maintained a seven point lead for the next couple of minutes with the Vikings’ only points coming from the foul line.
Schleuser hit one, Hailey Durand-Christianson knocked down a pair as did Fogarty and it was 68-61. Buchanan assisted Heidorn on a bucket then Fogarty found Heidorn open again and she repeated the process.
But in between Colfax points, the Islanders were scoring enough of their own to maintain a lead. Fogarty launched a three point shot that found nothing but net to keep the Vikings within striking distance, down 73-68 with 41 seconds left, then she hit from even further out for another trey to make it 76-72 with 19 seconds left.
Colfax was playing the fouling game at this point and the Islanders hit a pair of free tosses to widen the gap before Heidorn finished off the Vikings’ scoring with a last second shot off an offensive rebound.
“DeLaSalle has a good program and they always bring a good team,” coach Joe Doucette said. “Other than a couple of bad stretches, we played very well, especially in the second half. We dug too deep of a hole for ourselves the first half but we had a great comeback and made a lot of big plays and shots. We couldn’t keep DeLaSalle off the boards and we couldn’t stop them from scoring on a consistent basis,” he added.
The Vikings had plenty of opportunities to score from the foul line but connected on just 21 of 37 attempts while the Islanders were 11 of 19. Fogarty was high point scorer for her team with 21 while Heidorn added 11 and Henricks 10.
DELASALLE (78) Wilson 5-6-7-19, C. Speese 8-3-4-19, T. Bodden 8-1-2-17, I. Fleming 4-0-0-10, I. Florey 2-1-6-7, M. Francois 2-0-0-4, O. Travis 1-0-0-2
COLFAX (74) Fogarty 7-5-8-21, Heidorn 4-3-9-11, Henricks 3-3-3-10, Buchanan 4-0-0-9, Schleusner 2-3-4-8, Hurlburt 2-3-4-7, Dachel 1-3-5-6, Durand-Christianson 0-2-4-2
THREE POINTERS: Wilson 3, Fogarty 2, Florey 2, Fleming 2, Henricks 1, Buchanan 1, Dachel 1, Schleusner 1
The Oredockers were 0-6 coming into the contest but play in a tough Lake Superior Conference against teams from Duluth and Superior. And for whatever reason, the Vikings were nowhere near the team they were on the previous night.
“We looked tired and slower in this game but we stayed with it and found a way to win despite struggling in a lot of areas,” Doucette said.
In fact, the Vikings were behind 9-0 before they got on the scoreboard but they began to chip away at the deficit and held a 22-16 advantage at the intermission. Seven different Vikings combined for those 22 points led by Fogarty’s five.
Schleusner, Henricks and Hurlburt all scored twice from close range in the second half and the rest of the Colfax points came from the charity stripe where they were a dismal 9 of 22. In fact, the team shot under 50% from the line in the contest at 14 for 30 while the Oredockers were 9 for 12.
“Schleusner had a couple of big hoops for us and scored a career high eight points,” Doucette said. “Both Henricks and Hurlburt were solid with Henricks getting to the foul line and Hurlburt pulled down a couple of key rebounds. Our youth and inexperience shows through sometimes with inconsistent play and we look weak and not very confident.All we can do is keep having good practices because we have a big stretch coming up where we will have to play very well with no room for error,” he added.
COLFAX (43) Henricks 2-6-10-10, Schleusner 3-1-2-8, Hurlburt 4-0-0-8, Heidorn 3-1-2-7, Fogarty 2-2-9-6, Buchanan 1-0-0-2, Durand-Christianson 0-2-2-2
ASHLAND (36) A. Huber 4-1-2-11, C. Perry 3-4-5-10, L. St. Germain 3-0-0-7, M. Kovala 2-0-0-4, H. Bucholz 0-3-4-3, A. Tucker 0-1-1-1
THREE POINTERS: Huber 2, Schleusner 1, St. Germaine 1