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by Marlys Kruger
COLFAX — The Colfax girls’ basketball team played their third straight game against a team in a higher division than the Division 4 Vikings, and couldn’t come up with enough big shots to pick up a second win for the early season, as they lost 62-52 to the River Falls Wildcats November 21 at home.
River Falls is a Division 2 team and plays in a highly competitive Big Rivers Conference against several Division 1 teams. They finished 9-14 a year ago but ended up near the bottom of the conference.
Colfax was down 8-5 early in the first half before Autumn Niggemann scored on a put back for Colfax. Niggemann added another close range shot with a free throw and they were down 13-10, but it seemed that every time the Vikings scored, the Wildcats countered. Jeanette Hydukovich scored in the paint, Kaysen Goodell scored on a free throw and a shot in the lane to keep Colfax within striking distance, down 20-15, but after a Brynn Sikora free toss and two from Goodell, River Falls continued to score and jumped ahead 31-18. Hydukovich scored from close range again and Goodell hit a free throw as the teams headed to the locker rooms with River Falls up 36-21.
Hydukovich scored twice to start the second half on shots in the paint, but the Vikings misfired on two, three-point attempts before Meadow Keltner finally connected from long range. After another Viking miss from long range, they turned the ball over twice but Jordyn Bowe hit from behind the arc, leaving Colfax down 40-31. Hydukovich once again scored back-to-back and McKenna Shipman connected three times on close range shots, but the Viking defense couldn’t stop the Wildcats from countering those shots as they maintained a 55-43 advantage.
The Vikings made a run to get within seven points, down 56-49 with around three minutes left, but River Falls finished off their scoring going 6-for-6 at the free throw line. Shipman canned a triple in the midst of those free throws for the Vikings’ final points.
Hydukovich and Shipman tied for the high score with 14 points each for Colfax.
The Lady Vikings have a pair of home, non-conference games this week. They host Bloomer on Thursday and take on Chippewa Falls McDonell in the Dunn-St. Croix-Cloverbelt Challenge at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 2. Colfax will then welcome Durand-Arkansaw next Tuesday, December 5 for the Dunn-St. Croix opener.