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By Amber Hayden
COLFAX — In the first meeting of the rivals 2018-19 home-and-home regular season, conference series held in Colfax last Tuesday night, the Colfax and Elk Mound boys’ teams both had a some issues getting the ball into the hoop during the Dunn-St. Croix basketball showdown.
Despite the man-to-man defensive coverage Elk Mound applied throughout the game, the Mounders were unable to completely shut down the Vikings and Ben Thompson. The senior guard accounted for half of Colfax’s game points in its 40-28 low-scoring home victory over rival Elk Mound December 11.
Both squads exited the game with 1-1 conference marks. While Colfax improved to 5-1 overall, Elk Mound slipped back to the .500 mark with a 3-3 record.
“It was an ugly game from an offensive perspective, we had way too many turnovers and didn’t do a good enough job taking care of the ball,” said Colfax head coach Garrett Maas.
Colfax’s Ben Thompson kicked off the game with a trey to put the Vikings on the board first during the Tuesday evening contest.
Colfax’s solo score on the scoreboard wouldn’t last long as Mounders Brett Lew came back for three, shortly after Elk Mound went up 8-7 via a Rian Flynn triple.
“I was really proud of the kids tonight, I thought they really executed our game plan,” Mounders’ head coach Michael Kessler stated. “Unfortunately we were unable to make shots ourselves.”
Ben Thompson led the Vikings with 20 points on two treys, four doubles and was four-of-seven from the charity stripe. Thompson also had two offensive and defensive rebounds and five steals against Elk Mound to lead the Vikings to victory.
Brett Lew topped the Mounders’ leader board with 12 points, thanks to three triples and a three-of-four performance from the foul line. Lew also had a pair of defensive rebounds.
The Vikes literally had a hard fight against the Mounders in what, at times, was a physical battle.
Colfax’s George Scharlau fought off Elk Mound as he fell to the ground attempting to get the ball on the rebound and was able to get the ball back to teammate Jackson Hellmann.
The Mounders’ Rian Flynn did a quick acrobatic move of his own with 6:30 left in the first half falling to his back after being hit by Luke Heidorn of the Vikings.
Flynn put up two doubles and a trey for seven total points. Flynn also had three defensive rebounds, one assist, one deflection and three steals.
With a 1:45 left in the first half, Elk Mound took the lead off a triple from Brett Lew, but Colfax responded with scores to take a 19-16 lead into the half.
“I was really proud of how our kids responded on the defensive end,” Maas commented. “Anytime you can limit a team to only 16 points in a half you are doing something right.”
Vikings’ guard George Scharlau was silenced for much of the game by the Mounders and finished with just six points. Scharlau did lead the Colfax defense with nine rebounds, one assist, and five steals.
“Any time you can keep Scharlau to only six points during the game, you know we are doing something right,” said Elk Mound coach Michael Kessler.
A pair of doubles from Mounders senior Rian Flynn to open the second half put Elk Mound back in the lead, 20-19, with two and a half minutes off the clock.
The score remained at a stand still for the following three minutes of the contest before Ben Thompson put up a double and was sent to the line for one free throw to complete the three-point play and gave Colfax the lead back at 22-20.
The Mounders managed just eight more points in the second half, where as the Vikings dropped in 18 more points and end the game with a score of 40-28.
Adding to Colfax’s total were teammates Ed Hydukovich with four, Zach Rindy tacked on four more points and Luke Heidorn netted another six.
The Mounders were assisted by Marcus Kinblom with six and Cade Hanson with a single trey.
“The core seven guys I know they got tired down the stretch, but I’m really proud of our team and I think it was a good step forward … take a lot of positives from tonight and improve on what we need to improve on,” coach Kessler explained.
In Friday, December 14 contests, Colfax buzzed Glenwood City 73-48 for a road win while Elk Mound returned home and picked up a 51-42 victory against Elmwood/Plum City.
Colfax concluded its pre-holiday schedule with a non-conference game at Cornell last night (December 18) while Elk Mound will play the defending state champion Prescott Cardinals on the road this Friday, December 21.
COLFAX 40, ELK MOUND 28
Colfax…………….………………19 21 – 40
Elk Mound…….……………….16 12 – 28
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-TP)
Colfax — B. Thompson 6-4-2-20, G. Scharlau 2-2-4-6, E. Hydukovich 1-2-1-4, Z. Rindy 2-0-2-4, L. Heidorn 1-4-1-6.
Elk Mound — R. Flynn 3-0-3-7, C. Hanson 1-0-2-3, B. Lew 3-3-1-12, M. Kinblom 2-2-3-6.
THREE-POINTERS C— B. Thompson 2; EM— C. Hanson 1, B. Lew 3, R. Flynn 1.