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By Amber Hayden
Winding down another busy week with three more conference wins, the Colfax boys ran their win streak to 15 straight games and have shown why they were seeded third in their half of the upcoming WIAA Division 4 Hudson sectional tournament which gets underway next Tuesday, February 26.
But that unbeaten streak was in jeopardy last Friday in Durand when the host Panthers took a lead late in the game. The Vikings would rally for a narrow 56-54 triumph to preserve their one-game lead over Spring Valley in the chase for the D-SC’s boys’ basketball crown.
That win came on the heels of Colfax’s 65-51 win over the Mondovi Buffaloes February 13. The unusual Wednesday game had been rescheduled from the day before. The gym was packed despite the bone-chilling temperatures outside as fans watched as Colfax claimed its second win of the week. The Vikings also went to Elk Mound on Monday and beat the rival Mounders 66-51 to earn the season sweep.
Colfax, currently 11-1 in conference and 18-1 overall, will wrap up their regular-season schedule with three home games. The Vikings hosted Minong Northwood this past Monday evening, February 18, in an out-of-league contest followed Tuesday with Elmwood/Plum City. Colfax can win the outright conference title tomorrow, evening, Thursday, February 21, against the Boyceville Bulldogs, the only team without a conference victory, in the regular-season finale.
The Vikings have earned a first round bye and will begin their run for a regional title on March 1 against the winner of the February 26 regional quarterfinal game between Chetek-Weyerhaeuser (#11) and Unity (#6). A win by the Vikings would mean another home game the following evening for the regional title. Colfax is also slated to host a sectional semifinal game on Thursday, March 7.
The Mondovi Buffaloes visited the land of the Vikings last Wednesday, February 13, and tried to stomp down the leaders of the Dunn-St. Croix but failed as the Vikings went on to win by 15 with a score of 65-51.
The Buffaloes started quickly in last Wednesday game and took a six-point lead over Colfax in the first three minutes. Mondovi led 8-2 by the time the Vikings and head coach Garrett Maas took their first time out of the game at 14:55.
With George Scharlau hitting the first two points for the Vikings with a minute off the clock, the Vikings looked for a way to get around the tough Mondovi defense who kept their sights on both Scharlau and Ben Thompson.
Ed Hydukovich stepped up to hit the next three buckets for the Vikings to bring the gap down to two. Hydukovich’s third bucket of the evening came off a quick offensive rebound after the ball had missed the net from a shot by Luke Heidorn.
Hydukovich finished the evening with 15 points including 11 in the first 18 minutes of play. He also contributed an assist and six rebounds for Colfax.
Despite being heavily guarded throughout the game, Ben Thompson still scored 17 points for Colfax. Thompson also had one offensive rebound, three defensive rebounds, two assists, a steal and one block.
The past few games, George Scharlau has stayed quiet point-wise but in the second half against the Buffaloes they struggled to shut down the 6’ 5” senior post player. Scharlau scored 17 of his game-leading 26 points in the second half. Scharlau found key moments under the net to sink six doubles, and three well-placed, three-point shots found the net and he was five-of-six from the charity stripe.
Scharlau was also a beast on defense as he pulled down 13 defensive rebounds, had two deflections, a pair of steals and two blocks for the Vikings.
Zach Rindy tallied five points as well as two rebounds and an assist, and Luke Heidorn went two-of-four from the line and finished with four defensive rebounds, ten assists, a deflection, two steals and a block.
COLFAX 65, MONDOVI 51
Colfax.……..………………33 32 – 65
Mondovi….…………………27 24 – 51
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-TP)
Colfax — B. Thompson 6-5-3-17, G. Scharlau 9-5-1-26, E. Hydukovich 7-1-1-15, L. Heidorn 0-2-1-2, Z. Rindy 2-0-0-5.
Mondovi — B. Christopherson 6-0-2-15, A. Hoepner 2-1-4-5, W. Falkner 1-0-2-2, R. Fath 7-0-1-18, O. Schultz 4-0-4-9, K. Johnston 1-0-0-2.
THREE-POINTERS C — G. Scharlau 3, Z. Rindy 1; M — B. Christopherson 3, R. Fath 4, O. Schultz 1.
The Colfax men finished up a busy week and were able to come out on top of a 56-54 nail biter on the road against the Durand Panthers last Friday evening, February 15.
In recent weeks, it has been a running theme for the Vikings to keep their fans on the edge of their seats as Colfax once again took the game to the wire before pulling out a win.
“We jumped out to a 9-0 lead which helped bring them (Durand) out of a zone defense to man,” explained coach Maas. “We did a good job of attacking them inside the paint.”
Colfax may have been able to step up and close off the inside for Durand, but outside the arc the Panthers hit ten threes in 22 attempts.
George Scharlau led defensively and offensively for Colfax with 18 points overall from three triples, a double and was seven-of-ten from the charity stripe. He also snared 11 defensive rebounds and had a steal and two blocks against Durand.
For Colfax, the inside was clearly a better playing field as they hit 18 of their 36 attempts, where as the Vikings hit only a 27.3 percent of their three-point attempts, making just three of 11.
Senior Ben Thompson has brought himself within 82 points of hitting 1,000 career points with his 16 against the Buffaloes. He tickled the twine for eight doubles against Durand and added in one rebound, one assist, a deflection and a steal.
Luke Heidorn and Ed Hydukovich each added eight points for the Vikings. Hydukovich and Heidorn combined to nab nine defensive rebounds, three assists, two deflections and five blocks.
Colfax led by as much as 12 points before Durand took a late lead.
“Durand at one point did take the lead late in the second half,” Maas commented. “I was pleased with how we didn’t panic and regained the lead and held on in the end.”
Zach Rindy, Cole Seehaver and Jackson Hellmann each with two points.
COLFAX 56, DURAND 54
Colfax.……..………………30 26 – 56
Durand….…………………23 31 – 54
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-TP)
Colfax — B. Thompson 8-0-3-16, C. Seehaver 1-0-0-2, G. Scharlau 4-7-3-18, E. Hydukovich 4-0-1-8, L. Heidorn 2-4-3-8, Z. Rindy 1-0-0-2, J. Hellmann 1-0-0-2.
Durand — F. Weiss 4-0-1-9, C. O’Keefe 5-0-2-15, G. Hurlburt 3-0-5-9, R. Radle 4-0-3-9, T. Tulip 1-1-3-4, I. Whitwam 3-0-4-6, C. Berger 1-0-1-2.
THREE-POINTERS C — G. Scharlau 3; D — F. Weiss 1, C. O’Keefe 5, G. Hurlburt 2, R. Radle 1, T. Tulip 1.