MONDOVI – Colfax has no problem riding the hot hand.
Or, as was the case on Thursday, hot hands.
Ben Thompson and George Scharlau scored 30 and 19 points for the Vikings, respectively, to power a 75-50 win over Mondovi. The hot-shooting duo scored Colfax’s first 16 points in the second half, brushing away any hopes of a Buffaloes comeback.
“They’re good leaders out there. Any time we need a bucket, we can go to either one of them,” Colfax coach Garrett Maas said of Thompson and Scharlau. “Any time (Mondovi) made a little run, they were the two that would step up and put a stop to it.”
Colfax outscored the Buffaloes 46-32 after halftime, led by 19 second-half points from Thompson and 11 from Scharlau.
The duo stayed in the zone all night long, which is nothing new for them.
“I’ve been there before,” Thompson said. “It just felt normal.”
The Buffaloes managed to hang around in the first half, but couldn’t slow the Vikings down enough in the second half to overcome a rough night shooting the ball. Owen Schultz led Mondovi with 16 points, and Avery Hoepner added 10.
Mondovi went cold midway through the first half, allowing Colfax to go on a 13-2 run to pull ahead to a lead it would not relinquish. The Vikings worked it inside and out, with plenty of looks in the paint going along with a 3-pointer by Thompson during the run.
“It’s pretty much even. (I’m comfortable) shooting the 3 or driving it inside. It doesn’t really matter to me, just go for what’s open,” Thompson said.
The two squads had traded baskets early. Neither team led by more than two points for the first 11 minutes of the game.
Mondovi capitalized with an opportunistic defense to stay with the Vikings early in the contest. That much was clear from the first basket of the game – a transition layup by Brennen Christopherson, who nabbed a Colfax pass out of the air for the first of many steals of the night.
“Mondovi did that run-and-jump defense, and we had to get it out to (Thompson or Scharlau on the wing,” Maas said.
But a strong second half by the Vikings proved to be too much to overcome. Colfax turned a 35-27 lead into a 49-30 advantage with a 14-3 run midway through the period. Thompson scored nine of the Vikings points during that stretch.
“We set the tone defensively first,” Maas said. “That fueled our offense. Any time we were struggling, it seemed like we got a timely transition basket.”
Scharlau was strong in the post and around the perimeter, helping ease the defensive pressure on Thompson.
“It’s really nice. It makes it easier on me if they lay off a little bit,” Thompson said of the dynamic with Scharlau.
The win improved Colfax to 4-1 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference, while Mondovi’s loss dropped the Buffaloes to 2-3 in conference play.
Colfax 75 Mondovi 50
Colfax (8-1, 4-1): Ben Thompson 30, Cole Seehaver 6, George Scharlau 19, Ed Hydukovich 6, Brady Lawerence 2. Jackson Hellman 2, Zach Rindy 4, Luke Heidorn 6.
Mondovi (7-4, 2-3): Brennen Christopherson 4, Evan Gray 6, Avery Hoepner 10, Wyatt Falkner 2,, Ryan Fath 7, J.T. Parr 5, Owen Schultz 16.
3-pointers: Colfax 4 (Thompson 3, Scharlau), Mondovi 5 (Grey 2, Schulz 2, Fath).
Halftime score: Colfax 29-18.