By Cara L. Dempski
If Colfax head girls’ basketball coach Joe Doucette was looking for a strong start for his 2017-2018 Lady Vikings, he got it last Tuesday.
The Colfax squad played the season and home opener November 14 against St. Croix Central, a team picked by several local coaches to win this year’s Middle Border title, a little over one week after starting practice.
Not only did the Viking ladies win the game, they did so in decisive fashion with a final score of 49-35, setting them up for a November 16 road trip to Hayward.
The Vikings trailed by 11 points going into halftime, and faltered in the second half to succumb to the Hurricanes in a 58-21 loss.
The Colfax girls’ basketball team entered the week of Thanksgiving with a 1-1 record, and traveled to Hudson for a meeting with the Raiders Tuesday, November 21. The Vikings then are on a break until opening Dunn-St. Croix play for the season at Boyceville December 5.
St. Croix Central
Doucette’s Lady Vikings may not have burst out of the gate and played their best ball of the season November 14 against St. Croix Central, but it was still a pretty impressive game to watch.
After just over one week of regular practice, three of the Colfax players scored in double digits, one of whom got there on just three-point shots.
The head coach said the contest definitely boosted his team’s confidence.
“We understand that Mariah (Krogseng) is a scholarship kid, and they’ve (St. Croix Central) got a great supporting cast and are picked to win the Middle Border,” Doucette said. “For us to go in and win handily, that’s gotta give us some confidence.”
There seemed to be no shortage of confident play, first-game mistakes aside, in the Vikings’ 2017 debut and 49-35 win over the Panthers. Doucette seemed pleased with the defense his team put up against a St. Croix Central team bent on taking its time in the early part of the game to set up scoring plays.
Which seemed to work against the Panthers, since the Vikings went on an 11-point run before the visitors put up two with 12:13 still to play in the first half. The Central ladies would pull to within seven points of Colfax, but then fell away to enter the locker room at halftime trailing 25-13.
Things improved slightly in the second half for the visiting Panthers, who scored 22 in the closing half to end the game with 35 points, but the Colfax girls continued to find good looks and display solid shooting skills from the perimeter to take the W.
Junior Emma Hurlburt led the Vikings with 13 points, while Alyssa Dachel sank four three-point shots to tie with Savannah Henricks at 12 points apiece. Kameri Meredith put in a field goal and three of six charity throws for a total of five points, Addy Olson hit a pair of two-pointers, and Josie Steinke came off the bench to shoot a lone three-pointer in her first varsity game.
Panther senior Krogseng copped the game’s highest individual score with 14 points.
COLFAX 49, ST. CROIX CENTRAL 35
St. Croix Central………………..13 22 — 35
Colfax………………………………25 24 — 49
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
St. Croix Central (12-8-11-35) — K. Cress 1-1-1-4, M. Withuski 1-0-0-2, M. Johnson 1-4-3-6, A. Widiker 2-0-2-5, K. Juen 0-1-0-1, A. Edelman 0-0-1-0, M. Krogseng 6-2-3-14, C. Frankiewicz 1-0-1-3.
Colfax (18-6-11-49) — A. Dachel 4-0-3-12, M. Schleusner 0-0-3-0, J. Bowe 0-0-1-0, K. Meredith 1-3-3-5, S. Henricks 4-3-0-12, J. Steinke 1-0-0-3, A. Olson 2-0-0-4, E. Hurlburt 6-0-1-13.
THREE-POINTERS: SCC — K. Cress 1, A. Widiker 1, O. Wasley 1; C — A. Dachel 4, S. Henricks 1, J. Steinke 1, E. Hurlburt 1.
Doucette said the Hurricanes are a big, aggressive team with a deep bench that forced the Colfax girls to back down in their November 16 matchup and 58-21 loss.
“It (the game) really got away from us,” he said the morning after. “Defensively in the first half, we were pretty good, but offensively we could not get anything going at all. We were down 11 at half, and had done some good things, but the second half we could not do anything.”
The Viking coach said the series against Hayward has been a good one over the years, but the Hurricanes were clearly the better team last Thursday night. He seemed disappointed the Colfax ladies did not battle harder for the win, but also seemed pleased that some players battled harder as the game progressed.
Doucette likened the Lady Vikings’ offense to heading into a defensive hornets’ nest each time the Colfax squad had to stand up to the Hurricanes. The result was just 21 points over the 36-minute game, with Dachel’s two three-pointers giving her the Vikings’ highest score of six for the night.
Meredith reeled in a total of five points with a pair of field goals and a free throw, Steinke landed a three-point shot, and Henricks, Rachel Scharlau and Saville Wilson each accounted for two points. Sophomore Addy Olson rounded out the score with a single free throw.
Hurricane senior Madelyn Neff took top scoring honors for the night with 15 points.
COLFAX 21, HAYWARD 58
Colfax………………………………12 9 — 21
Hayward…………………………..23 35 — 58
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Colfax (6-6-15-21) — A. Dachel 2-0-2-6, J. Bowe 0-0-1-0, K. Meredith 2-1-0-5, S. Henricks 0-2-1-2, J. Steinke 1-0-2-3, A. Olson 0-1-3-1, S. Wilson 0-2-0-2, R. Scharlau 1-0-3-2, E. Hurlburt 0-0-3-0.
Hayward (17-17-13-58) — H. Miller 0-0-2-0, G. Johnson 1-0-2-3, A. Stark 1-0-0-2, M. Lundsten 0-0-1-0, T. Myer 3-6-2-14, E. Strapon 2-2-2-6, M. Neff 4-5-1-15, E. Neff 5-2-2-12, R. Halberg 0-0-1-0, E. Morgan 2-2-0-6.
THREE-POINTERS: C — A. Dachel 2, J. Steinke 1; H — G. Johnson 1, T. Myer 2, M. Neff 2.