By Cara L. Dempski
COLFAX — The Viking boys’ basketball team could have been a little rusty going into last week, considering they had played just one game in the previous three weeks.
If there was any rust, the Colfax squad shook it off early in the January 16 home contest against Mondovi. Despite the two top players hitting some foul trouble, much of coach Garrett Maas’ team stepped in to fill the gaps for a 72-50 victory over the Buffaloes, and set up a showdown between the Dunn-St. Croix’s remaining undefeated teams in Colfax on January 19.
[emember_protected] At the end of the last Friday night’s contest, it was Durand who came out on top of the Battle of the Unbeatens, playing to a 62-53 win that gave the Colfax boys their first conference loss this season.
The Vikings are currently 5-1 in conference and 8-4 overall, and headed to Plum City January 23 to take on the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves in a contest rescheduled from January 11 due to inclement weather.
Colfax welcomes Boyceville this Thursday, January 25 before hosting a non-conference matchup against Eleva-Strum on Monday, January 29. The Vikings close out January with a road trip to Spring Valley on the 30th.
If Maas was concerned about how his team would perform after hitting the hardwood just once in the past three weeks, he need not have worried.
The Colfax boys got off to a hot start in their January 16, 72-50 home win over Mondovi, and it was thanks to George Scharlau.
The online highlight reel from the contest posted at Hudl.com the following day seemed a bit like a one-man show, with Scharlau knocking down a pair of threes early before taking a high-speed feed from fellow junior Ben Thompson for a dunk.
The rest of the reel showed off a big block from sophomore Ed Hydukovich, who led the game in scoring, and the outside shooting prowess of Luke Heidorn and Treyton Teige.
“We had a really good, balanced scoring attack last night,” Maas said the next morning. “Ed led the way with 16 points as he stepped into the starting line for Marcus (Reisdorf), who was home sick.”
Scharlau trailed just behind Hydukovich with 15 points of his own, Thompson reeled in 12, and Jackson Hellmann stepped up his game to provide 10 points. Teige earned six, Noah Albricht and Heidorn tied with five points apiece, and Brady Lawrence dropped in an outside shot for three.
Mondovi’s highest-scoring player was Avery Hoepner, who put together 14 for the Buffaloes.
MONDOVI 50, COLFAX 72
Mondovi…………………………..23 27 — 50
Colfax………………………………37 35 — 72
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Mondovi (19-3-11-50) — B. Christopherson 0-0-2-0, C. Johnson 2-2-2-6, A. Hoepner 6-0-2-14, R. Fath 3-0-2-9, J. Falkner 1-0-0-3, O. Schultz 2-0-1-4, L. Uschan 1-0-0-2, G. Gifford 1-1-2-4, B. Larson 3-2-0-8.
Colfax (30-4-15-72) — B. Thompson 3-2-2-12, N. Abricht 1-2-2-5, G. Scharlau 6-0-4-15, E. Hydukovich 8-0-3-16, T. Teige 2-0-1-6, J. Hellmann 5-0-0-10, L. Heidorn 2-1-3-5, B. Lawrence 1-0-0-3.
M — A. Hoepner 2, R. Fath 3, J. Falkner 1, G. Gifford 1; C — N. Albricht 1, G. Scharlau 3, T. Teige 2, L. Heidorn 1, B. Lawrence 1.
Coach Maas had a simple message for his team in the locker room after last Friday’s home loss to Durand.
“I told the guys they (Durand) didn’t win the conference championship tonight, and we didn’t lose it,” he said after the game. “We still have our work cut out for us.”
The Vikings knew going into the January 19 that the Panthers would try to build up a fast pace offensively and employ a full-court press. What Maas was not expecting in the 62-53 loss was for his team to panic a little bit early on.
The Colfax boys were able to get their feet back under them, but the next shock came in the form of senior Treyton Teige limping to the bench late in the first half, and then leaving at halftime to get X-rays. The hard part about the injury was that no one saw what happened.
“I got a little nervous without Treyton,” Maas commented. “He’s just so versatile. He can play any position on the floor, he can guard any position on the floor. You can’t lose a six foot, three inch kid. The way it looked, I just hope there’s no ligament damage.”
It took nearly two minutes for either team to score, but then it was Durand senior Kobe Humphrey who took the honor of earning the first point when he nailed the second of two from the line at 16:18 to make the score 1-0.
A little over a minute later, Colfax junior Luke Heidorn would make an answer to the shot, dropping in a slow-drifting ball from well outside the arc for three. Durand responded with a three of its own, but Colfax proceeded to put in a field goal to retake the lead 5-4.
The Panthers drilled a three for a 7-5 lead, and then just kept scoring to lead 16-8 with 11:20 to go in the first half.
George Scharlau got the team’s first bucket in over two minutes after fighting his way through a traffic jam for two points to cut the Panthers’ lead to just 16-10, but the Durand boys continued to pound away to take a 33-23 lead into intermission.
Both teams took some time to score again in the second half, and it was again the Panthers who were first on the scoreboard with a three-point shot courtesy of Humphrey. A foul nearly a minute later sent Heidorn to the line, where he hit the back end of a two-shot trip to make the score 36-24.
Try as they might, for the rest of the game, the Vikings were forced to shoot mostly from the perimeter, a difficult task even considering the strength of Colfax’s outside shooters (Scharlau was listed seventh out of 10 in the state Division 4 three-point shooting rankings in the January 15 update on Wissports.com).
Maas seemed pleased with the game, despite the loss, and acknowledged the team’s shooting difficulties, and the possibility of a conference championship still in the offing.
Scharlau and fellow junior Ben Thompson led the team with 16 points each, Heidorn picked up eight, Jackson Hellmann and Marcus Reisdorf each put up four points, Noah Albricht was good for three, and Ed Hydukovich logged two.
Durand’s highest-scoring player was Fletcher Weise, who earned 15 points.
DURAND 62, COLFAX 53
Durand……………………………33 29 — 62
Colfax…………………………….23 30 — 53
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Durand (20-15-11-62) — F. Weise 4-6-2-15, C. O’Keefe 2-0-0-5, E. Bauer 1-0-2-3, R. Radle 4-2-1-12, T. Tulip 3-6-2-13, I. Whitwam 4-0-0-8, K. Humphrey 2-1-4-6.
Colfax (20-4-19-53) — B. Thompson 4-2-5-16, N. Albricht 1-0-4-3, G. Scharlau 7-1-2-16, E. Hydukovich 1-0-3-2, J. Hellmann 2-0-0-4, M. Reisdorf 2-0-2-4, L. Heidorn 3-1-3-8.
D — F. Weise 1, C. O’Keefe 1, E. Bauer 1, R. Radle 2, T. Tulip 1, K. Humphrey 1; C — B. Thompson 3, N. Albricht 1, G. Scharlau 6, L. Heidorn 1. [/emember_protected]