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Boys basketball: Panthers rip Colfax

ELLSWORTH -- Colfax may be in first place in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference, but it didn't play that way in Monday's non-conference contest. The Panthers exploded for 48 points in the first half and won handily 85-57.

Tempo control keyed the game. The Vikings played exactly the way the Panthers wanted them to by trying to run with them. Colfax led early on 12-5 but the game changed when Ellsworth put on the press.

The Panthers outscored Colfax 14-8 to close out the first quarter, then stormed to a 24-7 second quarter margin that put them in front 48-25 at halftime.

"We didn't get a lot of turnovers on the press, but we sure forced them to play at our speed and tempo," Ellsworth coach Cory Brathol said. "Once we did, we were not a good matchup for them."

Just a few nights after scoring a career-high 26 points against Osceola, Ellsworth's Isaac Kauffmann topped that mark by scoring 27 points.

"He's really in a groove right now and sometimes it takes half a season to get there," Brathol said. "We installed a new offense this year and now we're seeing things click. But now is exactly when they have to click and hopefully Isaac and the rest of the team can keep playing this way."

Nick Niedfeldt also finished in double figures scoring for the Panthers with 16 points. Drew Hipple scored 14 points and Chris Niedfeldt finished with nine points.

Colfax's leading scorer was M.J. Osterberg with 21 points, including five 3-pointers.

Ellsworth improves to 5-7 overall and returns to league play Friday when they play host to rival Prescott.

Colfax drops to 9-3 overall.