By Cara L. Dempski
COLFAX — It was a win two seasons in the making.
The last time a Colfax boys’ basketball team beat Elk Mound was during the 2014-2015 season, just after the Mounders lost a significant number of the players that took the team to the state semifinals in March of 2014.
The Vikings seemed to easily handle the Mounders this time around copping a 67-48 win in last Friday’s showdown to stay atop the Dunn-St. Croix.
Things looked a little different between the two teams in the December 15 contest at Colfax than they have the past two seasons.
First, there was the home team’s 2-0 conference record heading into the game. For the past two years, Elk Mound, who was 1-1 prior to the tip-off, has been the one with the better record going into the first rivalry game.
Then there was the attitude of confidence, almost a sense of swagger, coming from the Viking boys as they stepped onto the court. The Mounders, in contrast, were business like usual, but there seemed to be an underlying sense of uneasiness.
“I’m not sure what to do,” Elk Mound coach Mike Kessler said after the game. “We practice hard, but we’re not seeing it on the court at games.”
Colfax grabbed a nine-point lead early in the game to go up 12-3 by virtually eliminating the Mounders’ scoring attempts. Things did not improve much for the visiting team a little over halfway through the first 18 minutes when they were down by 14.
Elk Mound’s chances improved slightly with just five minutes until halftime when senior Dylan Black drilled a pair of three-pointers to put Elk Mound within 11 with the score 25-14, but Colfax came right back to extend the lead to 18 points with a shade over a minute before the half.
The Mounders again shaved a few points off the lead in the waning seconds of opening half with a nice three-point shot from Ben Lambele, but still trailed 32-17 as both teams headed to the locker room.
Colfax came out just as confident for the second half of the game, and led by 24 points with just six minutes left to play when the Mounders started to crawl back into the mix.
Still, it was a case of too little, too late for Elk Mound, who could not find a way around the Viking defense until Jake Mentzel dropped in a three-pointer with just 24-3 to make the scoreboard read 67-48 when the final buzzer sounded.
Viking head coach Garrett Maas said after the game he was pleased with the win, and impressed with how his team handled Elk Mound.
Colfax’s George Scharlau walked away with the game’s highest score of 21 points, while Ben Thompson was good for 15. Marcus Reisdorf scored eight points, Treyton Teige and Jackson Hellmann reeled in six each, Ed Hydukovich picked up four, Brady Lawrence scored three, and Noah Albricht and Luke Heidorn scored two each.
On the Elk Mound side, Dylan Curry had 11 points to lead the team, Mentzel scored eight, Lambele and Black accounted for seven apiece, Marcus Kinblom earned four, Brett Lew made three of four free throws, Blake Rosenthal sunk a single three-pointer, Ryan Mohr and Colten Ward each logged two points, and Conner Mavis scored one.
Colfax hosts Cornell on Thursday, December 21 before taking a break for the holidays. They host Glenwood City January 5.
Elk Mound will head to St. Croix Central December 21 before playing at Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau December 29. The Mounders will open 2018 on the road against Plum City/Elmwood.
COLFAX 67, ELK MOUND 48
Elk Mound…………….17 31 — 48
Colfax…………………..32 35 — 67
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Elk Mound (14-11-18-48) — R. Mohr 1-0-3-2, B. Rosenthal 1-0-3-3, B. Redwine 0-0-1-0, D. Curry 3-3-2-11, B. Lambele 2-1-0-7, D. Black 2-1-0-7, B. Lew 0-3-2-3, L. Bergh 0-0-3-0, C. Ward 1-0-2-2, J. Mentzel 2-2-0-8, N. Schreiber 0-0-1-0, M. Kinblom 2-0-2-4, C. Mavis 0-1-0-1.
Colfax (25-10-13-67) — B. Thompson 7-1-2-15, N. Albricht 0-2-1-2, G. Scharlau 8-1-1-21, E. Hydukovich 2-0-1-4, T. Teige 2-0-1-6, J. Hellmann 2-0-3-6, M. Reisdorf 3-1-2-8, L. Heidorn 0-2-2-2, B. Schindler 0-3-0-3.
EM — B. Rosenthal 1, D. Curry 2, B. Lambele 2, D. Black 2, J. Mentzel 2; C — G. Scharlau 4, T. Teige 2, M. Reisdorf 1.