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by Marlys Kruger
It was a very good start to the 2022 year for the Colfax girls’ basketball team. Starting with an exciting 58-43 come from behind win over the Fall Creek Crickets in Fall Creek January 3, the Vikings won two home games including a 77-34 white washing over the Spring Valley Cardinals January 6, and blew away the Hayward Hurricanes 59-24 in a Saturday non-conference matinee contest.
After losing their first game of the season to Hudson, the Vikings have won 12 consecutive games for a 12-1 record and are 5-0 in conference play.
Colfax will play their next two games on the road facing rival Elk Mound last evening and going to Plum City this Friday to take on the E-PC Wolves.
Unlike several other teams around the area, Colfax did not have any games during the holiday break, thus giving them a 12-day layoff from competition.The Crickets were coming off wins over Cameron and Arcadia in games that were played during the break, and they looked like a team that was on a roll.
After Madison Barstad scored from under the hoop for Colfax to make it 2-2, the Crickets went on one of several scoring runs in the game, starting with eight for a 10-2 lead. McKenna Shipman dropped in a triple and a deuce for the Vikings to draw her team to within three, but her points were the only ones for Colfax in seven possessions. Meanwhile the Crickets went on a seven-point scoring streak that upped their lead to 17-7.
Aynsley Olson stopped the bleeding for the Vikings with a free throw and a shot from the paint, but a Cricket trey increased their advantage to 22-10 with around seven minutes left in the half. Barstad scored from close range, Emilee Burcham-Scofield hit back to back shots in the lane and Shipman scored from close up to get the Vikings within six points at 24-18. After four more points from Fall Creek, Barstad hit again to leave Colfax down 28-20 at the intermission.
“We had a slow start going into the game,” Colfax coach Courtney Sarauer said. “We looked out of it the first half. I challenged the girls to step it up in the second half and they met it head on,” she added.
That may have been an understatement as the Vikings scored the first eight points of the half, starting with close range shots from Jillian Bowe and Shipman, followed by a Bowe triple and a free throw by Jasmine Best for a 28-28 score. Tori Martin put the Crickets back up with a deuce for her 17th point of the game at 30-28 but Best knotted it again with a bucket, Martin countered with a free throw for a 31-30 Cricket lead, but that point turned out to be her final one of the game.
Best continued on her roll as she hit a short jumper and nailed a shot from long range for a 35-31 Colfax advantage. Shipman and Burcham-Scofield added to the lead with shots from the paint but Fall Creek battled back to cut the Colfax lead to five points before Burcham-Scofield hit from close range for a 43-36 lead.
Jeanette Hydukovich added to the Viking scoring column with a bucket and after Shipman scored in the lane twice it was 49-38. Molly Heidorn added a deuce from the paint and Barstad scored from underneath to up the lead to 53-48. With Colfax in the bonus, Barstad went to the free throw line twice and made 3-of-4 shots and Burcham-Scofield finished off the Viking scoring with a put back.
“Our energy was way better in the second half and we looked like the team we had been up to this point,” Sarauer said.
Shipman led the Vikings in scoring with 15 points and snared six rebounds, Barstad added 13 points and a team leading 14 rebounds, Burcham-Scofield added ten points with five rebounds while Best had eight points and five assists. Colfax was 5-for-12 from the foul stripe and 3-for-11 from three point land.
Martin led the Crickets with 18 points, and her team was 9-for-14 at the free throw line with two triples in the contest.
Returning to Dunn-St. Croix action, the Cardinals seemed to have increased their scoring power over the past few years, but it never seems to be enough to stay in the game against the Vikings for very long.
Shots from Barstad, Burcham-Scofield, and Shipman helped Colfax pull out to an 18-5 lead early in the game and they kept the scoring going throughout the game.
Olson had the hot hand for several minutes, coming up with seven points on two close range shots with a triple in between, and with a pair of Heidorn freebies, along with a put back from Hydukovich it was 33-11.
It was Burcham-Scofield’s turn to put on a show, with three drives through the lane for buckets and draining a shot from behind the arc along with a Barstad shot from an in-bounds pass for a 44-19 advantage. The Cardinals were held to one point in the final few minutes of the half and it ended with Colfax holding a commanding lead at 55-21.
Spring Valley showed a little spark on the offensive end, scoring seven of their 13 second half points in the first few minutes. But, a Barstad triple and Shipman dominating the paint for three buckets, it was 64-23 for the Vikings.
The Cardinals stayed on that 28 for a long time against the Vikings’ stifling defense while, Colfax went on an 11-point streak which included a shot in the lane by Jaycey Bowe and two from Jada Anderson for her first varsity points and it was 77-28.
Spring Valley added on their final three points, with four minutes left the Vikings displayed some slick ball handling skills and ran out the clock.
Shipman pumped in 22 points to lead the Vikings while Olson finished with a career high 12 and Burcham-Scofield added 11. Six Vikings all hit one triple in the game and the team was 5-for-11 at the free throw line.
Hallie Thomas led the Cardinals with 10 points.
One never knows what to expect when you play a team out of the highly competitive Heart O’ North Conference but with the Hurricanes sporting a 2-4 conference record and 2-7 overall, it didn’t take long to see how this game was going to play out.
After a close first few minutes it was 4-4 but the Vikings used an 11-point run to go up 15-4. Points came from Burcham-Scofield on a short jumper, a fast break bucket by Shipman, a deuce and a triple by Barstad, and a shot from the lane by Olson.
Barstad showed her versatility with nine of the Viking’s 14 points the rest of the half, coming from a shot from downtown, another off an offensive rebound, a free toss, another shot from behind the arc and it was 34-12 at intermission.
The Hurricanes stayed at 12 points for a long, long time while the Vikings scored 16 points to start the second stanza. Shipman knocked down six points on three buckets, Barstad contributed with four points on two shots from close range, Burcham-Scofield scored on a drive and added a free throw on the play and Best dribbled from end to end and scored on a layup to help up the lead to 50-12.
The Hurricanes finally broke through at the 11:20 mark of the half with a three-point shot. Olson hit a pair of free throws, Hydukovich scored on an in-bounds pass from Jenna Goodell, Barstad scored her only points of the half in the lane, and an Olson free toss and final bucket by Anderson finished things off.
Barstad was high scorer for the Vikings with 18 points including all three triples for the team. Shipman tacked on 13 points and Burcham-Scofield added nine. The Vikings were just 10-for 21 at the foul line.
Greta Schmitt led the Hurricanes with eight points and the team shot five-of-14 at the foul stripe.