By Cara L. Dempski
GLENWOOD CITY — The Colfax Vikings admittedly did not have a great season.
They were 3-11 in the Dunn-St. Croix, finishing just ahead of Boyceville in seventh place in the final conference standings. They earned an overall record of 7-16, and were seeded ninth in their Division 4 region, and assigned to play eighth-seeded Glenwood City in a first-round regional game at Glenwood City on February 28.
The Vikings were riding a three-game winning streak when they stepped onto the Hilltoppers’ court last Tuesday night and played a reasonably good game. It just was not good enough, as the 62-point combined effort of Hilltoppers’ Dillon Hierlmeier and Riley Schutz ended the Vikings’ season with an 86-69 loss.
“When you score 69 points and don’t even come close to winning, it’s a hard pill to swallow,” head coach Garrett Maas said after the game.
Colfax finally seemed to be firing on all eight cylinders in the past month, putting up strong resistance in losses and winning more games than it lost. Maas expressed pride in the Vikings’ ability to never give in, even when the deck was stacked against them and hopes the season’s positive end fuels returning players to work harder in the off season.
The Vikings grabbed the first basket at Glenwood City when George Scharlau lit up the scoreboard with three only 20 seconds into the game. The Toppers took over one minute to respond, and then Riley Schutz dropped in an inside shot to make the score 3-2 with Colfax on top.
Scharlau then fouled Schutz, who nailed one of his two charity throws to even the score at three. Matthew Reisdorf drew a foul on a successful layup, but could not sink his shot; the Vikings again had a lead of 5-3. Colfax had stretched out into an 11-5 lead with 13:14 still to go before halftime when Hierlmeier hit his first three-point shot for Glenwood City to pull within three.
From there, the Toppers started to chip away at Colfax’s defense, creating more open shots. Glenwood City took a brief, 15-4 lead at the 10:13 mark on another three-pointer from Hierlmeier, but Reisdorf went to the line for the Vikings and picked up to points to temporarily retake the lead with a score of 16-15.
Hierlmeier drained his third three-point shot of the half at 9:30 to make the score 18-16 in favor of Glenwood City, and the Hilltoppers never looked back.
The score was 37-26 at halftime, and it did not take long for the Toppers to find the basket in the second half. Hierlmeier score six points to open the half with back-to-back threes to lift Glenwood to a 43-26 lead before Scharlau could score three for Colfax.
The Schutz and Hierlmeier combination extended the Hilltoppers’ lead to 58-30 before scarcely six minutes had passed. The tide started to shift in Colfax’s direction at the 11 minute mark with a three-point shot from Luke Heidorn and an inside shot from Scharlau to make the score 58-35.
The two scores kicked off a 13-0 run for the Vikings that saw seniors Reisdorf and Jacob Larson find the bottom of the net on numerous occasions to narrow the gap to 60-45. Colfax looked poised to continue its scoring run when Ben Thompson committed a foul against Hierlmeier.
Thompson obviously did not agree with the call, and made his displeasure known by turning around and uttering words unfit for publication to the referee closest to him. The action earned him a technical, and sent Hierlmeier to line for four shots: two for the foul, and two more for the technical. The Glenwood sophomore drained two of his four attempts to make the score 62-45.
The Vikings continued to play hard, picking up another 24 points in the final seven minutes of the game, but could not withstand the shooting onslaught from the Hilltoppers.
Larson finished his high school career by leading the Colfax squad with 19 points against Glenwood City. Scharlau contributed 15 points, and Heidorn shot for 12. Reisdorf recorded 8 points in his final game as a high school player, but fouled out with several minutes left to play.
Treyton Teige earned six points, Thompson reeled in five, Jackson Hellmann shot for three, and Marcus Reisdorf scored on a single free throw.
The highest-scoring player in the game was the Hilltoppers’ Hierlmeier, who sank six three-pointers on his way to a career-high 32 points.
With the end of the season comes a goodbye to Larson and Matthew Reisdorf. Maas said the team has seen a lot of ups and downs this season, but was proud of the way Reisdorf especially played his senior season.
“They (Larson and Reisdorf) put in four good years. I know Matthew had a rough year last year, missing a lot of games with injuries,” Maas explained. “I was pleased at how he bounced back. They’ll be sorely missed, but hopefully we’ll make them proud and turn things around next year.”
COLFAX 69, GLENWOOD CITY 86
Colfax………………………………26 43 — 69
Glenwood City…………………..37 49 — 86
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Colfax (17-14-20-69) B. Thompson 0-2-4-5, J. Larson 7-5-0-19, J. Hellmann 0-0-0-3, T. Teige 3-0-2-6, G. Scharlau 2-2-4-15, Mar. Reisdorf 0-1-2-1, L. Heidorn 2-2-3-12, Mat. Reisdorf 3-2-5-8.
Glenwood City (25-18-22-86) D. Hierlmeier 4-6-3-32, P. Hill 1-0-5-2, H. DeSmith 0-0-2-0, Q. Taylor 1-2-2-4, R. Schutz 10-10-3-30, T. Davis 7-0-4-14, A. Croes 2-0-3-4.
THREE-POINTERS C — B. Thompson 1, J. Hellmann 1, G. Scharlau 3, L. Heidorn 2; GC — D. Hierlmeier 6.