By Cara L. Dempski
COLFAX — The Colfax girls’ basketball team opened 2017 with a big conference win when they hosted the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves January 5.
The Vikings laid waste to the Wolves with a 63-21 victory to pick up their third straight win. But the streak ended just two days later when they fell at home to West Salem.
The Colfax Lady cagers put up a fight against the Panthers in their Saturday, January 7 non-conference showdown, but were not able to overcome the defensive pressure or high-speed offense presented by West Salem and wound up falling to the Cats 50-39.
Colfax, who improved to 2-2 in the Dunn-St. Croix for a fourth-place tie with Mondovi, is 5-6 in all games at the mid-point of the regular season. The Vikings kicked off a three-game road trip in Glenwood City last night (January 10) and will be in Mondovi Thursday to battle the Buffaloes before finishing the road swing in Elk Mound next Tuesday, January 17 in a rescheduled contest that had been postponed on December 16 due to inclement weather conditions.
Viking girls’ head coach Joe Doucette said wins have been tough to come by this year, but he saw some very good things from his team in last Thursday’s victory over Elmwood/Plum City.
“I thought we moved the ball pretty well,” Doucette stated. “We had 13 assists and only six turnovers, which is a good stat for us.”
The Colfax squad opened the game with a 12-point run kicked off by Savannah Henricks sinking two free shots at 16:33. The Vikings continue to run up the score until EPC junior Lexi Diesing tacked up two with a pair of charity shots in a bonus situation with 12:51 to go in the opening half.
Try as they might, the Wolves could not get shots to fall or pull down rebounds, and the Vikings’ defensive pressure led to multiple transition baskets for a 39-12 Colfax lead at halftime.
Senior Ally Heidorn and freshman Jayna Bowe put together a stellar first half, with each logging a trio of outside-the-arc shots. Heidorn took 11 points into the break with her, and Bowe took 10. The second half gave Henricks and freshman Kameri Meredith a chance to show off their skills, as Henricks attacked the rim, and Meredith the glass to rack up another 15 points between them.
All told, the January 5 contest was a full team effort, Doucette said the Colfax coaching staff has seen improvement in all around play.
“It may be baby steps,” Doucette said, “but we feel we can be very good. Everybody has their moments, stretches where they play very well, and everyone has struggled at times.”
The coach noted the team could get more consistent and if all the players worked to get a little better, the second half of the Vikings’ season could be much better than the first.
Meredith logged 16 points, eight in both halves, to earn the honor of having the game’s highest score. Henricks finished with 18 points, Bowe picked up 14, and Heidorn ended the game with 13 points. Sophomore Alyssa Dachel contributed five points, and Taylor Irwin put in a pair of free shots to earn two points.
Sophomore Alyssa Peterson was the Wolves’ top-scoring player after picking up five points.
ELMWOOD/PLUM CITY 21, COLFAX 63
Elmwood/Plum City…………….12 9 — 21
Colfax………………………………39 24 — 63
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Elmwood/Plum City (7-7-15-21) M. Afdahl 0-2-1-2, A. Peterson 2-1-1-5, K. Sebelko 1-2-0-4, T. Whipple 0-0-2-0, K. Broeckert 1-0-0-2, L. Diesing 1-2-2-4, J. Helmueller 0-0-4-0, E. Funk 1-0-3-2, A. Glampe 0-0-2-0, K. Feuker 1-0-0-2.
Colfax (15-14-12-63) A. Dachel 2-1-1-5, M. Schleusner 0-0-1-0, A. Heidorn 2-0-1-13, K. Meredith 6-4-2-16, S. Henricks 4-4-0-15, T. Irwin 0-2-0-2, B. Buchanan 0-0-2-0, A. Olson 0-0-1-0, J. Bowe 1-3-1-14
THREE-POINTERS C — A. Heidorn 3, S. Henricks 1, J. Bowe 3.
Coach Doucette’s Viking girls were very excited to take on the West Salem Panthers on January 7.
“We had a chance to win four in a row, a chance to get over the .500 mark,” Doucette stated. “We have seen West Salem in the summer, and know they are a great program.”
Colfax knew the Panthers were aggressive on both ends of the court, but Doucette and his team thought if they could keep West Salem off the free throw line, the Vikings stood a chance to win. Instead, the West Salem squad shot from the line 31 times, earning 20.
The Vikings could not get shots to fall late in the game, scoring only once in the final six minutes of the contest. Doucette named sophomore center Emma Hurlburt and freshman Taylor Irwin as standouts in the game, after the duo played some very strong minutes against the Panthers.
Hurlburt led the Viking effort, and the game, with 14 points earned through six field goals and a pair of free shots. Senior Ally Heidorn continued to play well in her final high school season, tacking up nine points. Alyssa Dachel picked up five points with a field goal and a three-pointer, Savannah Henricks put together four points, Irwin picked up three, and Hanna Sykora and Kameri Meredith each logged two points.
West Salem’s Tianna Sackett and Haylee Gilster led the Panthers with 11 points each.
WEST SALEM 50, COLFAX 39
West Salem………………………28 22 — 50
Colfax………………………………22 17 — 39
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
West Salem (9-20-16-50) B. Bentzen 0-3-1-3, M. Lattos 4-2-1-10, A. Niemeier 0-5-2-5, T. Sackett 3-2-0-11, M. Olson 1-3-4-5, H. Gilster 0-2-3-11, A. Jacobson 1-0-3-2, E. Ungerer 0-3-2-3.
Colfax (10-7-21-39) A. Dachel 1-0-3-5, A. Heidorn 1-1-4-9, K. Meredith 1-0-3-2, S. Henricks 1-2-4-4, T. Irwin 0-0-3-3, B. Buchanan 0-0-2-0, H. Sykora 0-2-0-2, E. Hurlburt 6-2-2-14.
THREE-POINTERS WS — T. Sackett 1, H. Gilster 3; C — A. Dachel 1, A. Heidorn 2, T. Irwin 1.