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By Amber Hayden
It has been five years since the Colfax girls’ basketball squad has gone undefeated in Dunn-St. Croix conference play, but after a 82-30 blow out win over Spring Valley in front of the home fans last Thursday, February 20, the ladies ended the 2019-20 D-SC conference season with a perfect 14-0 record.
Colfax, however, had a tough first game of the week as it faced off against playoff nemesis, the Mustangs of Melrose-Mindoro, last Tuesday, February 18. In a battle of Division 4 state-ranked squads, number three Melrose-Mindoro (21-1) defeated fourth-ranked Colfax for a fourth consecutive time. The Mustangs’ used their home-court advantage to earn a convincing 59-39 win that snapped the Vikings ten-game win streak. The top three from the Mustangs – Emily Herzberg, Calette Lockington, and Mesa Byom – combined for 50 points and were a struggle for the Vikings to shut down.
But the Viking Ladies would not let that loss distract them as they headed into their final conference game of the regular season against Spring Valley. Jumping out to a commanding 46-11 lead in the first half, they were able to play 15 girls with 13 of them scoring, in the 52-point win.
Colfax wrapped up the regular season at 19-3 overall, and 14-0 in the D-SC.
The Vikings will get in some practice before their first contest of the 2020 WIAA Division 4 tournament where they will host the winner of either Glenwood City (#9) or Shell Lake (#8) this Friday, February 28 in a regional semifinal game. A win would have Colfax hosting the following day’s regional championship.
The Lady Vikes made their way to Melrose-Mindoro High School last Tuesday evening, February 18, and unfortunately suffered another loss at the hands of the Mustangs, 39-59.
“They are a good team,” said head coach Joe Doucette. “I thought we did a lot of good things, but they were better again tonight.”
Rachel Scharlau led Colfax with a mere nine points as she went five-for-seven at the line and had two doubles.
Colfax weathered a slow start against the Mustangs as they were down by 11 before halftime, but a late run in the first and into second halves widened the gap for Melrose-Mindoro to shut out Colfax once again.
“I thought we got better shots and more shots than we did in the last two sectional finals, but could not make enough to stay close,” Doucette explained.
Saville Wilson and Taylor Irwin were in off the bench for Colfax and able to score five points a piece respectively. Both Wilson and Irwin had a lone trey and were two-for-two from the charity stripe.
Forward Kameri Meredith was held to eight points all evening, with one double and she was six-for-seven from the foul line.
For Colfax, the ability to shut down Calette Lockington, Mesa Byom, and Emily Herzberg was not there as the three scored 50 of the Mustangs’ 59 points.
Both Byom and Herzberg are committed to D1 South Dakota State and Lockington is committed to D2 Viterbo University.
“I thought we tried hard and did not give up, but we could not overcome that bad stretch,” commented Doucette. “I still think we can play with them, and hopefully we get one more shot. But we have a tough road to go before we can even think about them again.”
Also scoring for the Vikings were Addisyn Olson with a double and triple, Jayna Bowe with a double and one-for-two at the line, Addy Olson with a lone trey, and Madison Barstad going one-for-two at the line.
The Vikings and Mustangs will have a chance to meet again in the sectional championship should both teams make it that far in the WIAA 2020 Division 4 tournament. Melrose-Mindoro has beaten Colfax in their previous two sectional-championship match-ups.
FG-FT-F-TP: T. Irwin 1-2-1-5, J. Bowe 1-1-0-3, K. Meredith 1-6-3-8, A. Olson 1-0-1-3, S. Wilson 1-2-1-5, A. Olson 2-0-0-5, R. Scharlau 2-5-2-9, M. Barstad 0-1-0-1. Totals: 9-17-13-39.
FG-FT-F-TP: T. Frey 3-0-2-7, C. Lockington 5-4-2-15, M. Byom 6-3-4-16, A. McRoberts 1-0-2-2, E. Herzberg 7-1-2-19. Totals: 22-8-18-59.
Colfax 17 22– 39
Melrose-Mindoro 28 31 – 59
3-point goals: Colfax: T. Irwin, A. Olson, S. Wilson, A. Olson; Melrose-Mindoro: T. Frey, C. Lockington, M. Byom, E. Herzberg (4).
Colfax’s girls’ basketball team wrapped up another Dunn-St. Croix conference title on Thursday, February 20, with a big win over Spring Valley to finish 14-0 in the D-SC.
“It was a great night to honor our seniors, a great group and they have done a lot for us,” said coach Doucette. “They have seen a lot of big wins, some tough losses, but they have hung together and took the good with the bad. I have a ton of respect for them.”
The senior class has had two conference titles and three regional titles, according to Doucette
Colfax took little time in making their way to the net as Morgan Schleusner was able to work her way underneath for two, shortly after this when Schleusner was defending a Spring Valley player the monitor she wears on her arm for her diabetes was ripped off causing the game to halt until she had removed it.
Schleusner finished the evening with three doubles for a total of six points.
The Lady Vikes went on an 11-0 point run before Spring Valley would score their first points late in the first half, but by then Colfax had forced several turnovers including seven travels.
“We are proud to be conference champs and represent a great school and community,” Doucette explained. “We had eight people make threes which may be a school record.”
Kameri Meredith and Rachel Scharlau worked the connection deep in the lane in the first half as their passing under the basket was on point allowing Scharlau to score her first points of the game. Both of the seniors left in the first half after scoring a total of 17 points for the Vikings.
Doucette rotated his starting five out of the game in the first half with eight minutes left, which was enough time for Taylor Irwin, Madison Barstad, Addy Olson, Saville Wilson, and Addisyn Olson to tack on another 18 points.
“We are excited for the tournament to start. It is a great time of year, one loss you’re all done,” said Doucette. “We really feel we can win some games, we have had a great year and everybody is on the same page.”
During the second half, Spring Valley’s Kyra Schilling was able to score first for the Cardinals on a quick two points. But Colfax would not let it go unanswered as Rachel Scharlau put up a double of her own.
Addisyn Olson was able to put up a bucket underneath after Taylor Irwin quickly got the ball inbound to Olson for two.
With seven minutes remaining in the second half, Colfax rotated all of their JV players into the game and were able to score another nine points for the Vikings.
“We know we can improve and we feel if we make shots we could beat anybody,” stated Doucette.
The seniors have memories from the last four years along with life experiences that they shared, from Jayna Bowe falling over, to knowing that their teammates are not just teammates but family.
“You can do anything you put your mind, and all my teammates are my family and I love them,” said Taylor Irwin.
Kameri Meredith added that she learned over the last four years that as long as they stick together they can get through the thick and thin.
FG-FT-F-TP: T. Irwin 2-1-1-6, M. Schleusner 3-0-0-6, J. Bowe 3-0-1-9, K. Meredith 5-2-0-12, M. Harmon 1-0-0-3, J. Steinke 1-0-1-3, M. Barstad 4-0-2-8, A. Olson 1-0-1-3, S. Wilson 1-2-2-5, E. Burcham-Scofield 2-0-0-4, A. Olson 2-4-2-9, R. Scharlau 5-0-0-11, Rylee Parker 1-0-1-3. Totals 31-9-12-82.
Spring Valley (30)
FG-FT-F-TP: J. Ortner 1-2-0-4, K. Hybben 4-1-0-13, A. Hinzman 2-0-2-5, K. Schilling 2-0-0-4, M. Rustad 1-0-1-2, L. Stark 1-0-3-2. Total 11-3-12-30.
Colfax 46 36 – 82
Spring Valley 11 19 – 30
3-point goals: Colfax: T. Irwin, J. Bowe (3), M. Harmon, J. Steinke, A. Olson, S. Wilson, A. Olson, R. Scharlau, R. Parker; Spring Valley: K. Hybben (4), A. Hinzman.