By Cara L. Dempski
Most prep basketball teams see a few breaks in their game schedules in the final week of the regular season.
By the final week of the season, teams hope to be playing their best in order to survive the tournament schedules that culminate at Green Bay’s Resch Center for the girls and at the Kohl Center in Madison for the boys.
Colfax head girls’ basketball coach Joe Doucette’s squad did not get off to an easy start this season, and did not hit the .500 mark until a January 5 win over Elmwood/Plum City. Since then, the Vikings have won eight out of the dozen games they have played.
The Vikings’ final week of regular-season play was a busy one that started with a February 13 loss to perennial Dunn-St. Croix rival Elk Mound.
The very next evening Colfax took a long road trip for a non-conference contest against Ladysmith. The Vikings turned their week around with a sweetheart of a 65-30 victory over the Lumberjacks on February 14.
The Lady Vikings then closed out their Dunn-St. Croix season – as well as their and regular season – two nights later at home when they welcomed Mondovi’s Lady Buffaloes to Colfax. The Vikings cruised past the Buffaloes for a 58-24 victory and series sweep over Mondovi.
Colfax ended its regular-season play with a 13-9 record overall, and earned third place in the D-SC with a 9-5 record.
The team is not scheduled to play again until this Friday, February 24 when it will host a WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal game against the winner of the February 21 contest between Mondovi and Stanley-Boyd.
Doucette said the Vikings played with a nice balance against the Ladysmith girls on February 14.
“We had a lot of people play very well tonight,” the Colfax coach stated. “We played very well offensively in the second half. We moved the ball very well, made extra passes, and shot the ball well.”
The Lady Vikings played a solid first half and took a 10-point lead into the halftime break, but Colfax broke free of the Lumberjacks in the second half when their three-point shots started to fall with incredible accuracy.
The team put together 15 points in the first half on field goals from outside the arc, but stacked up a whopping 27 points via second-half three-pointers.
Alyssa Dachel scored a team-leading 15 points on three-point shots alone, while Savannah Henricks and Bryana Buchanan each recorded 11 points in the game. Buchanan’s score was a career high for the senior.
Ally Heidorn, Kameri Meredith and Emma Hurlburt each scored six, with Heidorn and Meredith logging a pair of threes each, and Hurlburt hitting a pair of two-point shots and both her charity throws.
Rachel Scharlau stepped up from the bench to score on a pair of inside buckets in the second half for four points total. Taylor Irwin contributed three points, Jayna Bowe earned two, and Morgan Schleusner found the bottom of the net with one of her six free throw attempts.
Ladysmith’s Liz Sarauer logged 12 points for her team.
LADYSMITH 30, COLFAX 65
Ladysmith…………………………15 15 — 30
Colfax………………………………25 40 — 65
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Ladysmith (7-7-7-30) A. Bullard 1-0-0-2, E. Englehardt 0-4-1-7, L. Sarauer 3-3-3-12, C. Rodgers 0-0-2-0, E. Egle 2-0-1-7, A. Uhren 1-0-0-2.
Colfax (10-3-13-65) A. Dachel 0-0-2-15, M. Schleusner 0-6-3-1, A. Heidorn 0-0-2-6, K. Meredith 0-0-1-6, S. Henricks 4-0-3-11, T. Irwin 0-0-1-3, B. Buchanan 1-0-0-11, J. Bowe 1-0-1-2, R. Scharlau 2-0-0-4, E. Hurlburt 2-2-0-6.
THREE-POINTERS L — E. Englehardt 1, L. Sarauer 1, E. Egle 1; C — A. Dachel 5, A. Heidorn 2, K. Meredith 2, S. Henricks 1, T. Irwin 1, B. Buchanan 3.
Coach Doucette seemed nostalgic after the Viking girls’ held Senior Night during their final conference contest of the 2016-2017 season.
“Senior Night is a very special night. We have had a lot of great kids and families go through our program,” Doucette said. “We ask a lot of them, we ask that they persevere, take both the good and the bad.”
The Vikings’ coach said seniors Ally Heidorn and Bryana Buchanan have done exactly that. They proved it on the court against Mondovi when Heidorn scored six points and Buchanan four in Colfax’s 58-24 win over the Buffaloes on February 16.
Heidorn and Buchanan joined the program just after Doucette lost a large number of talented players, and experienced their share of tough times. He admitted his respect for the two seniors, citing the work ethic of both and the great families they come from.
Doucette said the Vikings played well against Mondovi, with a balanced offense and their usual substantial defense. There is a chance Colfax will take on the Buffs again on February 24 for the regional final, and by then, Mondovi’s Haley Poeschl will have returned to the team.
“They (Mondovi) could beat us next week, but tonight we played very well,” Doucette said. “We feel we are capable of making a run, but also know we can lose to anybody.”
Underclassman Kameri Meredith led the Viking’s offensively against Mondovi with 13 points, while Savannah Henricks earned another 10. Alyssa Dachel continued her three-point shooting streak, tacking another three onto her record for nine points.
Emma Hurlburt tied Heidorn with six points, Taylor Irwin chalked up five, Buchanan contributed four points, Abby DeMoe and Rachel Scharlau added two apiece, and Morgan Schleusner picked up a point with a free throw.
Rian Evans was Mondovi’s highest-scoring player with seven points.
MONDOVI 24, COLFAX 58
Mondovi…………………………..14 10 — 24
Colfax………………………………35 23 — 58
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Mondovi (8-5-12-24) C. Buchholz 0-0-2-0, S. Wulff 1-2-0-4, S. Ede 1-1-2-3, R. Evans 2-0-1-7, E. Flaskrud 2-2-2-6, M. Rud 0-0-2-0, J. Zacharias 2-0-0-4, M. Lund 0-0-3-0.
Colfax (16-8-11-58) A. Dachel 0-0-1-9, M. Schleusner 0-1-2-1, A. Heidorn 1-1-1-6, K. Meredith 4-2-0-13, S. Henricks 3-1-2-10, T. Irwin 2-1-0-5, B. Buchanan 2-0-2-4, A. DeMoe 1-0-2-2, R. Scharlau 1-0-0-2, E. Hurlburt 2-2-1-6.
THREE-POINTERS M — R. Evans 1; C — A. Dachel 3, A. Heidorn 1, K. Meredith 1, S. Henricks 1.