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By Marlys Kruger
LADYSMITH — With just one game on their slate last week, the Lady Vikings’ basketball team made the most of it when they traveled to Ladysmith to take on the Ladysmith Lumberjills December 21.
Ladysmith was 9-1 overall and 5-0 in the Heart O’ North Conference and are expected to make a long run through regional and sectional play this season. Colfax was 8-1 overall and are at the top of the Dunn St. Croix Conference at 4-0. It turned out to be a signature win for the Vikings as they came from behind to pull out a 44-36 win as they head into a two week holiday break.
It was a quiet and low scoring first half for both teams as they struggled to get the ball in the basket, putting the halftime score at 17-16 for the home team.
The Jills added to their lead when they started the second half with a triple before Emilee Burcham-Scofield scored on a put back for the Vikings. Ladysmith added a bucket but Burcham-Scofield countered that one to cut the Viking deficit to 22-20, then Jillian Bowe picked a great time to hit her only triple of the game to put Colfax up 23-22.
McKenna Shipman scored from under the hoop for the Vikings and a free toss from Madison Barstad made it 26-24, but most importantly, the foul was called on the Jills leading scorer Raemalee Smith. who averages 19 points a game. It was her fifth foul and it sent her to the bench with 11:42 to go after scoring just four points.
The Vikings seemed to be pulling away a bit when Aynsley Olson knocked down a free throw then scored from close range for a 29-24 advantage. But the Vikings went cold from long range and missed a couple of three-point shots, and the Jills took advantage and knotted things up at 29-29 with just under six minutes to play.
It went to 31-31 but Barstad started to put the hammer down as she canned a shot from behind the arc then followed up with back to back shots from the paint for a 38-34 lead. Jasmine Best calmly drained a trio of free tosses to up the lead to 41-34 and the Jills leading scorer in the contest, Allison Clark fouled out with 17 points and 1:40 to go.
A couple of shots from the foul line by Barstad and one from Burcham-Scofield finished off the scoring and the eight-point win for the Vikings.
Barstad led Colfax with 14 points, Best finished with 11, Burcham-Scofield nine, Shipman four and Bowe and Olson both had three.
Colfax returns to action January 3 at Fall Creek.