After a shaky start to the season, the Colfax boys basketball team seems to have worked out the kinks and is currently riding a five game win streak.
Colfax (5-3, 3-0) has outscored their opponents by at least 10 points in four of their last five wins, and they nearly doubled that success with a 67-48 dominating victory over Elk Mound (2-5, 1-2) Friday at home.
Colfax head coach Garrett Maas attributed their win to an outstanding defensive performance.
“It was a good team defensive effort,” he said. “We held them to just five 2-point baskets ... when you play defense like that, you’re going to win some games.”
Colfax’s George Scharlau was the player of the night, starting things off for the Vikings on the outside, sinking three 3-pointers to help lift them to a 18-5 advantage right off the bat. Ed Hydukovich, Ben Thompson and Treyton Teige extended that lead to 21-8 with a trio of 2-pointers at the net.
Elk Mound’s Dylan Black broke a four-minute Mounder silence with a pair of 3-pointers to make it 25-14 with 4:12 to go in the half.
But Colfax’s Jackson Hellmann added four points off two offensive rebounds and Marcus Reisdorf knocked down a 3-pointer at the top of the key to finish off the half with a 32-17 Viking advantage.
The second half was more of the same, as Colfax continued to shut down Elk Mound powerhouse Ben Lambele in the lane, forcing him to shoot from the outside where he scored just one 3-pointer in the second half.
Colfax extended their lead to 51-27 with 7:50 remaining in regulation, as Thompson threw in two 2-pointers from under the net, followed up with a jump shot from a second chance opportunity.
Though the Mounders managed to sink a few 3-pointers before time expired, they were forced to send Colfax to the free throw line where the Vikings made made eight of their final 10 points of the game.
“I thought Colfax came out with a ton of energy and shooting the lights out of the ball,” Elk Mound coach Mike Kessler said. “We came out with zero energy and that’s what we are trying to figure out is how to get these guys to come out and compete every single day. Right now, we’re practicing harder than we’re playing and it’s our job as coaches to come up with ways to motivate them to get ready to play.”
Scharlau ended the night with a game high of 21 points, throwing in four baskets from the inside, four from the outside and went 1-for-2 at the line. Thompson collected 15 points on the night, all from the paint capped off with one freebie.
Reisdorf added eight points for the Vikings while Teige and Hellmann chipped in six points apiece. Hydukovich finished with four points, Bryce Schindler had three points and Noah Albricht added two to round out a balanced offensive effort.
Dylan Curry led the way for the Mounders with 11 points. He wrapped up the night with a pair of 3-pointers, one field goal and shot 3-for-3 at the line. Jacob Mentzel scored all eight of his points in the second half, including a pair of 3-pointers and another two from the free throw line. Black and Lambele were both held to seven points on the night.
“Ben had some great looks at the basket, they just weren’t falling,” Kessler said. “Scharlau is a heck of an athlete too, it was pretty fun to watch those two go against each other.”
Kessler noted that while Lambele has the ability to work both the inside and outside, they will need more athletes to step up and work around him.
“We need to find four other guys that can play around him, with him or five guys that can play when he’s not on the floor,” he said.
The Mounders regroup this week as they prepare for a Thursday night matchup at St. Croix Central (2-1) while the Vikings will shoot for a sixth consecutive win against Cornell at home (2-3). Colfax is also currently tied for first in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference with Durand (5-1, 3-0), whom it will meet with for the first time this season on Friday, Jan. 19.