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By Amber Hayden
The Colfax ladies have earned the right to call themselves the sole leaders in the Dunn-St. Croix conference girls’ basketball race following a dominating 58-38 road win last Thursday night over the Durand Panthers.
The pair had began the night tied atop the conference standings with unblemished 4-0 marks. The Lady Vikings improved to 5-0 and 9-2 overall following the January 9 victory.
Colfax had tuned up for the Durand showdown with a non-conference battle between state-ranked teams in Clear Lake on Monday, January 6
The Vikings, ranked seventh in the most recent Division 4 polls, suffered a close 43-41 defeat to the unbeaten and D5 second-ranked Warriors, who hold the top spot in the Lakeland Central Conference at 10-0.
The Clear Lake game was tight throughout, as the ball evaded the Colfax hoop for a majority of the evening. Colfax’s two-point halftime deficit, 16-18, held up as the Vikings went back-and-forth in the second half and even had a lead, before watching it slip away in the end. Both squads netted 25 points in the final half.
Thursday’s game in Durand started out how Colfax had hoped with the Vikings scoring first and not looking back as they held the lead over the Panthers for 36 minutes.
Colfax’s Kameri Meredith and Rachel Scharlau unofficially scored a double double in points and rebounds for the Vikings against the Panthers, but Morgan Schleusner played a key part in the evening’s game as she protected the ball and was able to get it off to her teammates for a score.
Head coach Joe Doucette has continued to wait for a third shooter to begin to shine for Colfax, but unfortunately he has yet to see any of his players break through besides Rachel Scharlau and Kameri Meredith.
Colfax hosted the Boyceville Bulldogs last night, Tuesday, January 14, and will travel to Spring Valley on Thursday, January 17, to take on the Cardinals. After which, they will take the next six days off before traveling to Elk Mound to take on their heated rivals of the Dunn-St. Croix on Thursday, January 23.
The Colfax girls’ basketball team suffered their second loss of the season to a tough Lakeland Central squad from Clear Lake as Division 5’s number-two rated Warriors prevailed by a mere two points, 41-43, on Monday evening, January 6.
“It was a hard fought game, it went back and forth the whole second half,” said coach Joe Doucette. “We did a lot of good things and had chances to win, but we needed to make one more good play or make one more shot.”
Kameri Meredith led the Vikings with 16 points off of seven doubles and was two-for-four from the foul line, she also had eight rebounds and two steals for Colfax.
At the end of the first half Colfax was down by two points, 16-18, before coming out of the locker room and keeping it even in the second half of the game, 25-25.
“They have a big, strong team, and we had trouble inside at times especially down the stretch,” Doucette explained. “It hurt that Rachel Scharlau fought foul trouble, and fouled out, she was tough when inside and we lacked size when she was out.”
Scharlau fouled out in the second half after earning 13 points for the Vikings off of five doubles and a lone trey. Scharlau, who stands 5’11”, also had two steals and an assist for Colfax.
Jayna Bowe, Marissa Harmon, and Addisyn Olson hit big shots against Clear Lake, each with a basket from outside the arc for three.
Also scoring for Colfax were seniors Taylor Irwin and Morgan Schleusner. Irwin was two-for-two at the foul line and Schleusner hit one-for-two from the line.
“I think our offense had too many turnovers at key times,” Doucette stated. “But I think it is a fixable problem.”
FG-FT-F-TP: T. Irwin 0-2-2-2, M. Schleusner 0-1-2-1, J. Bowe 1-0-0-3, K. Meredith 7-2-0-16, M. Harmon 1-0-0-3, A. Olson 1-0-0-3, R. Scharlau 6-0-5-13. Totals 16-5-13-41.
Clear Lake (43)
FG-FT-F-TP: M. Rosen 3-2-2-8, J. Rosen 7-0-0-14, L. Rosen 1-0-1-3, L. Hacker 0-1-2-1, M. Zimmer 0-4-1-4, M. Rosen 4-5-3-13. Total 15-12-11-43.
Colfax………………………………..16 25 – 41
Clear Lake…………………………18 25 – 43
3-point goals: Colfax: J. Bowe, M. Harmon, A. Olson, R. Scharlau; Clear Lake: L. Rosen.
Things got physical between the Colfax and Durand when they hit the Panthers’ hardwood last Thursday, January 9, with one thing on their minds. The number one spot in the Dunn-St. Croix conference.
But with several athletes stepping up for Colfax, the ladies were able to walk away with a convincing win and top spot by a score of 58-38.
“Really a nice win for us, we were very good on both ends,” said coach Doucette. “Probably our best game all year.”
Colfax, for the first time since the beginning of the season, worked cohesively as a team both on offense and defense, according to Doucette.
Kameri Meredith was the first to get points on the board with a double at 17:20, she also had the first points in the second half of the game. Meredith wrapped up the night with five doubles, a pair of threes, and she was one-for-two at the free throw line.
Morgan Schleusner had one of her best games this season as she posted ten points for the Vikings. Schleusner has battled her way back to the court after an early season set back, which left coaches and her teammates wondering if she would be able to make a return to the court.
“I missed my team so much, but they have supported me and they came and visited me while I was in the hospital,” Schleusner said about her recent hospital stay.
Schleusner put up two triples, a double, and was two-for-two at the line.
“Morgan had one of the best games of her career and really defended one of their best players, Leah Sabelko,” said Doucette. “But again we had a lot of people play well.”
Colfax went into the locker room at halftime leading 28-16, and never relinquished the lead to the Panthers.
Rachel Scharlau came out hard in the second half for Colfax as she hit four of her six doubles in the final 18 minutes of play, including one when she was guarded by McKenna Hurlburt and Madisyn Kilboten. Scharlau was able to get the shot off after rebounding the ball and stretching out for two.
Scharlau wrapped up the night with 15 points, despite picking up four fouls.
Also coming to life in the second half was Taylor Irwin, as she put up three doubles, along with a triple for nine points.
“We talked all year that we have the potential to be really good if we play hard and play together, tonight we did both and it made a big difference,” explained Doucette. “We are super excited to see how good we can be.”
Also scoring for Colfax were Josie Steinke with a triple, Madison Barstad with a double, and Saville Wilson who went two-for-two from the charity stripe.
FG-FT-F-TP: T. Irwin 4-0-0-9, M. Schleusner 3-2-1-10, K. Meredith 7-1-2-17, J. Steinke 1-0-0-3, M. Barstad 1-0-0-2, S. Wilson 0-2-1-2, R. Scharlau 7-0-4-15. Totals 23-5-12-58.
FG-FT-F-TP: M. Sand 1-0-0-3, J. Radie 2-0-2-6, M. Kilboten 5-4-2-16, P. Auth 1-2-1-5, L. Sabelko 0-2-3-2, M. Hurlburt 3-0-2-6. Total 12-8-13-38.
Colfax…….………………………..28 30 – 58
Durand….…………………………16 22 – 38
3-point goals: Colfax: T. Irwin, M. Schleusner (2), K. Meredith (2), J. Steinke, R. Scharlau; Durand: M. Sand, J. Radie (2), M. Kilboten (3), P. Auth.