By Cara L. Dempski
MENOMONIE — There are many basketball teams who would be discouraged by a 2-5 record through the first month of the season.
But not the Colfax Vikings.
After a 41-36 loss to Eau Claire Regis just before the holiday break, the Vikings stepped onto the court at UW–Stout for the Chris Griffin Memorial Holiday Classic and played to two wins.
“We struggled in the win column,” head coach Joe Doucette said. “We’ve been fired up to play ever since the Regis game.”
Doucette’s Lady Vikings took on the Ashland Oredockers on December 27 and won the game easily by a count of 59-32.
The Baldwin-Woodville Blackhawks presented a slightly greater challenge the next day.
Colfax still pulled off 45-31 win against the Blackhawks December 29 to give the team some momentum going into the new year.
The Viking girls now have a break until January 5, when they play host to the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves. They are 4-5 overall.
Doucette said it took a while for the Viking girls to get rolling against the Oredockers, but it also took the Oredockers some time to score.
To be fair to the Ashland girls, they put up a good fight, but the Colfax girls applied substantial pressure, resulting in four stolen balls in 90 seconds during the second half, and were comfortable enough offensively to get shots to drop.
Even when shots did not fall right away, sophomore center Emma Hurlburt was right there to grab the ball.
Colfax hit the board first with two points at 16:37, but then Ashland tied the game up a few seconds later. Two more minutes passed before either team got another shot to fall, and then it was the Vikings’ Taylor Irwin who landed a field goal to move the score to 4-2.
The Vikings and Oredockers traded shots for another few minutes before Colfax’s Jayna Bowe drew a foul just as her layup dropped through the net. While she missed her charity shot, the field goal pushed the Vikings to a three-point lead at 9-6.
A few minutes later, Alyssa Dachel put up a shot from the top of the key that was nothing but net, and the score became 14-8.
Dachel, Kameri Meredith, and Ally Heidorn rounded out the scoring for the half with a series of field goals that left the Vikings on the topside of a 25-13 score at the half.
The contest improved for Colfax in the second half, when they increased their score by another 34 points. The Vikings shot for 66 percent from the free-throw line, and were assisted by solid inside and outside shooting from all 11 Vikings who hit the floor.
Doucette was pleased with the win and voiced his approval of the way the team played in the second half.
“We have some good depth and some good athletes,” Doucette noted. “I feel we kind of ran the floor a little bit in the second half.”
Heidorn led the Vikings with 13 points, but Meredith was not far behind her with 12 points. Bowe and Hurlburt each logged seven points, Dachel took credit for six, Irwin picked up four, Megan Schleusner and Bryana Buchanan each chalked up three, and Savannah Henricks and Hannah Sykora nailed a field goal apiece.
Ashland senior Lucia Novotna led the Oredockers and the game with 15 points.
ASHLAND 32, COLFAX 59
Ashland…….…………………13 19 — 32
Colfax…………………………25 34 — 59
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Ashland (9-2-19-32) K. McPeak 0-0-2-0, M. Brinker 1-0-4-2, L. St. Germain 0-0-3-0, M. Wiggins 1-0-0-5, L. Novotna 3-0-4-15, K. Dickrell 0-0-3-0, Z. Pearce 0-0-1-0, C Perry 1-0-1-2, H. Bucholz 2-2-1-6, M. Cabe 1-0-0-2.
Colfax (18-14-12-59) A. Dachel 0-0-2-6, M. Schleusner 0-3-2-3, A. Heidorn 5-0-0-13, K. Meredith 4-4-0-12, S. Henricks 1-0-2-2, T. Irwin 1-2-1-4, B. Buchanan 0-3-1-3, J. Bowe 3-1-0-7, H. Sykora 1-0-3-2, E. Hurlburt 3-1-1-7.
THREE-POINTERS A — M. Wiggins 1, L. Novotna 3; C — A. Dachel 2, A. Heidorn 1.
The Vikings took on the Blackhawks the second day of the Griffin Classic and came away with another win, marking the first time this season that Colfax has won back-to-back games.
Doucette said his team knew Baldwin-Woodville’s team is big, athletic, and good at rebounding the ball, but felt the Vikings played well defensively after giving up a lot of early offensive rebounds. He added Colfax’s pressure and speed appeared to make the Blackhawks uncomfortable.
Emma Hurlburt again played a good game, slowing down, making her catches, and then making solid moves. Doucette explained this is something the sophomore center has been working on.
Overall, the Colfax coaches were happy with how the team performed against Baldwin-Woodville.
“We had a lot of people play well,” Doucette stated. “We are trying to get across that there are night where shots might not fall, but there are other ways to help the team.”
Hurlburt and Heidorn shared top honors for the Vikings against the Blackhawks with both players scoring 13 points. Buchanan picked up eight, Meredith added seven, Henricks tacked on three, and Bowe sunk a single free shot for one.
Blackhawk sophomore Brooke Evenson led scoring for the game with 15 points.
COLFAX 45, BALDWIN-WOODVILLE 31
Colfax…………………………26 19 — 45
Baldwin-Woodville…………..13 18 — 31
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Colfax (10-10-8-45) A. Dachel 0-0-1-0, M. Schleusner 0-0-1-0, A. Heidorn 0-4-2-13, K. Meredith 3-1-3-7, S. Henricks 0-3-0-3, B. Buchanan 1-0-0-8, J. Bowe 0-1-1-1, E. Hurlburt 6-1-0-13.
Baldwin-Woodville (8-3-11-31) B. Evenson 3-3-3-15, K. Pederson 0-0-1-0, L. Burr 1-0-3-2, A. Carlson 1-0-0-2, M. Schomer 0-0-0-3, T. Meyers 0-0-0-3, D. Haas 3-0-2-6.
THREE-POINTERS C — A. Heidorn 3, B. Buchanan 2; BW — B. Evenson 2, M. Schomer 1, T. Meyers 1.