By Cara L. Dempski
ELK MOUND — If it feels like it took all season for this game to arrive, well, that is because it sort of did.
The Viking girls were originally scheduled for their road trip to Elk Mound on December 16, but the game was postponed to January 17 due to a snow storm bearing down on Western Wisconsin.
The January 17 contest was rescheduled for the same reason.
So, when Colfax finally traveled to Elk Mound February 13, the team played what should have been its first match-up against the Mounders after having lost to the orange and black at Colfax 11 days prior. The third time proved the charm, as the Colfax and Elk Mound girls were able to leave it all on the court.
The Mounders made a clean sweep of the Lady Vikings this season after winning last Monday night’s game, 47-39, on their home court. The victory lifted the Elk Mound squad into first-place tie in the Dunn-St. Croix after finally pulling even with Durand’s 12-1 record. Colfax meanwhile fell to 8-5.
Colfax head coach Joe Doucette expressed pride in the Vikings for not giving up in the game, even when the team was down by as many as 16 points early in the second half. He gave credit to the Mounders for a game well-played.
“Jordan (Kongshaug) has done a great job, and they are playing very well,” Doucette stated. “They are one of the best teams in the area.”
The Elk Mound coach, Kongshaug, said he was happy with the solid defensive effort presented by the Mounders through the whole game. While the Mounders missed some free throws and took some not-so-great shots down the stretch, they hit enough big shots to nab the W.
The Mounder coach had nothing but good things to say about the team after the game.
“It’s a great, unselfish team,” Kongshaug explained. “It’s kids that know their role, and I’m very fortunate to have them. They’re a fun group to be around.”
Doucette also complimented the Mounders, saying there are a lot of girls on the team he likes and respects. He noted senior Elizabeth Fasbender as being particularly hard-working and classy.
That’s not to say the Vikings’ head coach does not think his team also puts in hard work.
“I was proud to coach our team, we had a championship effort and we stayed together,” Doucette said. “But we do need to find some more offense.”
Colfax sophomore Savannah Henricks had a good game, and the Vikings had several players put in substantial effort offensively, but Doucette stated he cannot seem to get everyone playing good offense at the same time.
Emma Hurlburt earned the first point of the game on a single free shot in the first minute of the game to give the Vikings’ their only lead of the night with a score of 1-0. It took nearly two-and-a-half minutes of the game before the Mounders scored, and then it was on a three-point shot to push Elk Mound up to 3-1.
The Mounders scored four more times in the next five minutes to run the score up to 10-1 before Kameri Meredith dropped in two for Colfax at the 10:35 mark, and the scoreboard changed to 10-3.
For the remainder of the opening half, the Mounders would race out ahead by anywhere from 11 to 12 points, but Colfax always had an answer and would draw back to within nine or 10 points until the closing minute of the half.
Elk Mound’s Hannah Cedarblade nailed a two-point shot to give the Mounders a 26-13 lead, but Colfax’s Ally Heidorn turned right around and took the ball to the hole, sinking her own two-point shot with 36.3 seconds to go before halftime. The final seconds of the opening half trickled away with the ball in the Mounders’ hands and a 26-15 Elk Mound lead.
Cedarblade opened the second half by drawing a foul less than a minute into the half. She canned both free shots to give Elk Mound a 13-point lead at 17:10. Less than a minute later, Morgan Radtke converted a turnover to a score for Elk Mound to make the score 30-15.
It was not until the final nine minutes of the game that the Vikings found a way to start chipping away at Elk Mound’s lead. Henricks narrowed the gap between the two teams with a shot for two at 8:55 and then hit a three-pointer less than a minute later to make the score 40-27.
From that point on, the Vikings kept harrying the Mounders for scoring opportunities, but could not pull any closer than eight points, eventually running out of time to make up their eight-point deficit as the horn sounded on a 47-39 final score.
Henricks led both the Colfax squad and the game with 19 points. Meredith contributed nine points, and Heidorn earned four points. Morgan Schleusner, Irwin and Bryana Buchanan tied with two points apiece, and Emma Hurlburt’s single free throw was her only score of the game.
Radtke led the Mounders with 14 points, and Kami King picked up 11. Cedarblade scored nine points, Fasbender contributed six, Allie Weber picked up five, and Ashley Gunderson-Morris scored two on charity throws.
The Vikings finished their regular season with a conference contest at home against Mondovi on February 16, while Elk Mound played host to Glenwood City that same night.
Colfax is seeded fourth in lower half-bracket of the Division 4 Chippewa Falls Sectional, and will play its first regional game on February 24 against the winner of the February 21 contest between Stanley-Boyd and Mondovi. Elk Mound earned a number-two seed in its half-bracket for Division 3 Menomonie Sectional. The Mounders will also play their first tournament game on February 24 against the winner of the February 21 match-up between Arcadia and Mauston.
COLFAX 39, ELK MOUND 47
Colfax………………………………15 24 — 39
Elk Mound………………………..26 21 — 47
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Colfax (16-7-17-39) A. Dachel 0-0-4-0, M. Schleusner 1-0-2-2, A. Heidorn 2-0-0-4, K. Meredith 4-1-3-9, S. Henricks 8-3-4-19, T. Irwin 0-2-0-2, B. Buchanan 1-0-1-2, E. Hurlburt 0-1-3-1.
Elk Mound (10-15-9-47) H. Cedarblade 1-4-0-9, A. Weber 1-0-0-5, E. Fasbender 1-1-1-6, K. King 2-4-3-11, A. Gunderson-Morris 0-2-2-2, M. Radtke 5-4-3-14.
THREE-POINTERS EM — H. Cedarblade 1, A. Weber 1, E. Fasbender 1, K. King 1.