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By Amber Hayden
ELK MOUND — In a battle between Dunn-St. Croix Conference rivals, the Elk Mound boys were able to defeat Colfax, 50-48, in the waning seconds of their January 30 rematch to earn a split in the regular-season series.
The Mounders avenged their early-season 42-33 loss to the Vikings and moved into a second place tie with Colfax as a result of the two-point win last Thursday evening in Elk Mound’s gymnasium. Both squads, now 6-2 in the D-SC standings, trail league-leader Durand (7-1) by a game in the hunt for this season’s conference championship.
Overall, Colfax is 9-6 while Elk Mound is 8-6.
“I think early on we had the unfortunate task, we weren’t healthy or a complete team,” Mounders head coach Michael Kessler stated in regards to the beginning of the season. “The whole while the kids came to the gym willing to work together. This is one of the best, if not the best locker rooms I’ve ever been part of as a player or as a coach.”
Kessler also stated that the Mounder players have learned to be united on the court when it comes to practice or game time.
“We dug ourselves a hole again and this time we couldn’t recover for the victory,” Vikings’ head coach Garrett Maas stated. “The Hanson kid for Elk Mound gave us a lot of trouble, his length at the top of the zone is what makes their 1-3-1 so tough.”
Cade Hanson led the Mounders to victory with 17 points.
Ryan Bohl opened the game’s scoring for Elk Mound. After the jump ball, Bohl headed down court and was able to find an opening for a quick triple to make it a 3-0 game.
Cole Steinhorst and Michael Jenson would add to the lead of the Mounders as they both hit shots from outside the arc.
Two minutes after Elk Mound had scored their first points, Drew Gibson was able to get an opening and hit three of his six points for Colfax.
The Vikings struggled for a majority of the first half in Thursday evening’s contest with turnovers and bad shots before settling down in the second 18 minutes.
The full-court press of the Mounders sustained them in the opening half of the game as it kept Colfax in a rush and unable to slow down.
Going into the locker room, Elk Mound found themselves with a 12-point lead over the Vikings, 28-16.
But Colfax rebounded in the second to outscore the Mounders by 10, 32-22.
“When we lost to Mondovi the conversation was, you still have the ability to write your own story,” Kessler explained when asked about how Elk Mound will handle the rest of the season. “The approach is taking it one game at a time.”
Colfax senior Ed Hydukovich settled into the second half and owned his title of captain as he scored 15 of his 23 points during that time.
One of Hydukovich’s doubles came when Noah Albricht had snagged the ball and headed down the court to the Vikings’ basket. Albricht was faced with two defensive players and got the quick pass off to Hydukovich who scored by tossing the ball up with his back to the net.
Kyle Deling had tried the same maneuver twice before and missed both shots for Elk Mound.
“We had a bad bounce and a tough go against us late in the game, but that’s basketball,” Maas said. “We have to do a much better job of taking care of the ball and value every possession.”
As the minutes on the clock wound down to seconds, Colfax began a full-court trap of its own and was able to work into a one-point lead, 48-47. But a pair of fouls by Colfax with under ten seconds to play sent senior Cade Hanson to the line where he hit three-for-four to give Elk Mound the win.
“Durand is sitting really good in the conference. We have to play a team in Elmwood/Plum City that is really athletic and they can beat anyone on any given night, so it’s about doing what needs to be done to prepare for that game and take it one game at a time,” Kessler stated.
Elk Mound (50)
FG-FT-F-TP: R. Bohl 4-0-1-11, B. Heath 2-1-1-6, C. Steinhorst 2-0-2-5, C. Hanson 7-3-0-17, M. Jenson 2-0-4-5, B. Todd 2-2-3-6. Totals 19-6-12-50.
FG-FT-F-TP: C. Seehaver 4-1-0-11, E. Hydukovich 11-0-3-23, N. Heidorn 3-0-3-6, D. Gibson 2-0-0-6. Totals 20-3-14-48.
Elk Mound 28 22 – 50
Colfax 16 32 – 48
3-point goals: Elk Mound: R. Bohl (3), B. Heath, C. Steinhorst, M. Jenson; Colfax: C. Seehaver (2), E. Hydukovich, D. Gibson (2).