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By Amber Hayden
COLFAX — The bitter rivalry between the Colfax Vikings and Elk Mound Mounders was on full display in Colfax last Tuesday evening as the girls’ basketball teams clashed in their final meeting of the regular season.
Despite efforts to net points throughout the game by Elk Mound’s leading scorer Morgan Radtke, who averages just over 17 points per game, the Vikings’ stingy defense shut down the Mounders’ senior post player for a majority of the contest allowing her just ten points.
And although recently red-hot Colfax junior Kameri Meredith was held to just three points, the Vikings’ duo of Rachel Scharlau and Emma Hurlburt combined for 24 points to led Colfax past Elk Mound for a 49-36 victory in the January 22 contest and earned the host Vikings the regular-season and conference sweep over the Mounders.
Colfax won the pair’s first meeting back on December 4 in Elk Mound by five points, 46-41.
With the win, the Vikings, who moved up a spot to sixth in the most recent Division 4 state poll, maintained their one-game lead over Durand in the Dunn-St. Croix, a perfect 9-0 at the time, while the Mounders slipped three games behind Colfax as it remained in third place.
“It was a good win for us, we have a ton of respect for Jordan and their kids,” Vikings’ head basketball coach Doucette said. “We have a ton of respect for their school, athletics, and leadership.”
Colfax grabbed the ball at tip off and scored the first six points of the game as Elk Mound spent the first five minutes scrambling to stop Rachel Scharlau who scored two of the first three baskets followed by Emma Hurlburt with one of her own.
Rachel Scharlau and Emma Hurlburt put in 19 of their combined 24 points in the first 18 minutes of play. Scharlau finished her night with 13 points which included five doubles and three-of-three from the line, while Hurlburt was three-of-six from the line with four doubles for 11 points.
“I thought Emma and Rachel their combination was very good, they not only played good defense on one of the conference’s best players in Morgan Radtke,” said coach Doucette. “They also scored and rebounded.”
It is coach Doucette’s belief that Scharlau has made huge strides and is one of the conference’s most improved kids, he explained, with people out, Colfax has played Hurlburt and Scharlau together for great success.
The Mounders continued their quest for a chance at a basket from inside the paint and outside the arc. But with all the quick shots they continued to take, none of them would make it through the net until Morgan Radtke was sent to the line for a set of foul shots and managed to sink only one of them. Leaving Elk Mound down by five, but not for long as Alana Plaszcz hit a triple to bring the score to 6-4, still in Colfax’s favor.
Alana Plaszcz finished the night out with a trey and was one-of-three from the charity stripe, while teammate Morgan Radtke had a mere ten points against Colfax, matching the amount of points from the first time the two teams met, off of four doubles and a pair of foul shots.
Colfax was able to make short bursts against Elk Mound with several small point runs, but never gave up the lead to the Mounders during the contest.
In the first 12 minutes of play, Radtke faced foul trouble receiving her third by the six-minute mark. Elk Mound coach Jordan Kongshaug sent in Sophie Cedarblade, leaving Radtke to ride the bench until halftime.
The Vikings held Elk Mound to 12 points in the first half, after shots from Brook Plaszcz, Sydney Simpson, and Kayla Bridges all failed to make it into the basket.
Rachel Scharlau got off one quick shot from inside for two as the buzzer sounded and sent the girls to the locker rooms.
Colfax led by 15 points at the intermission, a margin Elk Mound was never able to cut into despite a scoring turnaround in the second half.
“We knew it was an important game for this time of the year and I thought we did a nice job, it wasn’t pretty all the time but we grinded it out and played good defense all night and made just enough plays offensively,” Doucette said.
After halftime, the game belonged to the Mounders and junior Sophie Cedarblade who put up four big shots for Elk Mound from outside the arc as she earned half of Elk Mound’s 24 second-half points. Cedarblade hit her first of four triples shortly after entering the game in the second half and went on to lead the Mounders with 12 points.
Morgan Schleusner heated up for Colfax with all seven of her points coming in the second half with two hard earned doubles and was three-of-four from the line, while teammate Savannah Henricks, who played her first game in nearly a month, hit a trey and a pair of foul shots in the 36 minutes of play.
The referees called an injury timeout in the second half with a minute and a half off the clock after Schleusner had gone up for a layup and Elk Mound’s Victoria Fasbender was unable to move out of the way and took an elbow to the nose. She sat on the floor for a moment before getting up and walking off to the bench and then the locker room, she did not return for the rest of the game.
Before Fasbender left the game, she had two points late in the first half for Elk Mound.
Colfax freshman, Maddie Barstad, has started to step up for the Vikings having seen more varsity time in recent games. Last Tuesday Barstad put up three in the first half and sneaked underneath for a rebound and two points.
Within a minute and a half in the second half two of Elk Mound’s starters found themselves facing four fouls each, Hailey Blaskowski and Brook Plaszcz would ride the bench for the rest of the contest after Blaskowski and Plaszcz each put up three points.
The Mounders nipped the Vikings 24-22 in second-half scoring.
Colfax’s Kameri Meredith, who has had stellar games as of late, was double and triple teamed all evening leaving her to a mere three points. But even without the big numbers from Meredith she found a way to help the Vikings out with six assists to her teammates.
“Elk Mound did a great job on Kameri, but she always tries hard,” coach Doucette said.
Alyssa Dachel and Saville Wilson had a quiet evening with Dachel hitting only one bonus shot and Wilson sinking a basket for two.
The last minute of the game belonged to the Vikings as two of Colfax’s JV players earned a few minutes of varsity play and would both go to the line. Marissa Harmon went to the line for two shots and made both while Mariah Smith made her way to the line with 42.7 seconds left in the half only to miss both shots.
Colfax also played games against Eau Claire Regis on Thursday and Elmwood/Plum City last Friday. Elk Mound, meanwhile, hosted Spring Valley on Friday. Stories on those games are printed in this week’s sports pages.
Colfax was set to host Clear Lake this past Monday, January 28, in their fourth game in six days but it was postponed when school was canceled due a snow storm. The Vikings will take a well-deserved break before welcoming the Glenwood City Hilltoppers to the hardwood this Thursday, January 31.
Elk Mound’s home contest against the Cloverbelt’s Regis Ramblers on Monday, January 28 was also postponed. Instead, the Mounders’ next court appearance will be Thursday at home against Elmwood/Plum City.
COLFAX 49, ELK MOUND 36
Colfax……..……………… 27 22 – 49
Elk Mound….….….….…….12 24 – 36
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-TP)
Colfax — A. Dachel 0-1-1-1, M. Schleusner 2-3-2-7, K. Meredith 1-1-4-3, S. Henricks 1-2-1-5, S. Wilson 1-0-1-2, M. Harmon 0-2-0-2, R. Scharlau 5-3-2-13, M. Barstad 2-0-0-5, E. Hurlburt 4-3-3-11.
Elk Mound — B. Plaszcz 1-0-4-3, A. Plaszcz 1-1-0-4, H. Blaskowski 1-1-4-3, V. Fasbender 1-0-0-2, S. Cedarblade 4-0-3-12, M. Radtke 4-2-3-10, K. Bridges 1-0-2-2.
C— S. Henricks 1, M. Barstad 1; EM— B. Plaszcz 1, A. Plaszcz 1, S. Cedarblade 4.