Gaels back in action

After opening 2013 on a high note, the St. Edmond boys and girls basketball teams will look to keep building momentum this week.

The Gaels welcome Clarion-Goldfield tonight and then visit Bishop Garrigan on Friday in a pair of North Central Conference doubleheaders.

Tip for both girls games is set for 6:15 p.m., with boys action to follow around 7:45 p.m.

In their first outing of the new year on Friday, the SEHS boys (7-3, 6-3) coasted to a 70-38 road victory over Eagle Grove. Junior Robby Burke (25 points and 13 rebounds) and senior David Flattery (17 and 15) each delivered double-doubles for the Gaels, who received three votes in the latest Class 2A rankings.

“I thought we did a good job of moving the basketball, taking good shots and playing solid defense (Friday),” said St. Edmond head coach Adolph Kochendorfer. “I think we’re getting better and taking steps forward, but I’d still like to see us get a little more production out of some different guys in the rotation.”

Burke (19.6 points per game) and Flattery (11.0) are the main offensive weapons for defending state runner-up SEHS. Burke also pulls down 10.2 rebounds a night, while Flattery contributes 8.5 boards and 4.9 assists per game.

Seniors Stephen McAtee (10.1) and Max Gangestad (8.3) spearhead Clarion-Goldfield (2-8, 1-7), which is aiming to avenge an earlier 57-43 setback to the Gaels. The Cowboys snapped a seven-game losing streak with a tight 62-61 road triumph against West Hancock on Saturday.

“We never really pulled away from (C-G) the first time,” said Kochendorfer. “They’re big and physical and have really been batting teams. We have to make sure we come out ready to go.”

Bishop Garrigan (8-4, 6-3) is anchored by senior John Burns (24.3) and junior Nathan Krieps (15.2). Burns, who has received preferred walk-on status from Creighton University, ranks sixth in 1A in scoring. The Golden Bears have prevailed in three straight games and five of their last six overall.

“Garrigan is always a tough rivalry game,” Kochendorfer said. “With Krieps scoring more now, I think they’re a better basketball team than the first time we faced them (SEHS posted a 64-46 win over BGHS in its season opener).”

Since falling at Hampton-Dumont back on Dec. 4, the 15th-ranked (2A) Gael girls (10-1, 9-1) have reeled off seven straight victories, including a 58-19 thumping of Eagle Grove in their previous contest. Sophomore Anna Yung (14.1) and junior Alli Huss (13.9) are the focal points in the balanced St. Edmond attack. The reigning NCC champion Gaels are holding opponents to just 36 points a game.

“I think we’re doing all the little things pretty well right now,” said SEHS head coach Scott Messerly. “We’re also getting a lot of contributions from our kids coming off the bench.”

Leading the way for the Cowgirls (2-9, 2-7) are junior Jossie Sann (11.7) and senior Stephanie Steiner (8.4). Clarion-Goldfield has dropped five of its past six outings.

Juniors Nicole Behr (7.7) and Kristin Condoleon (7.7) are the top threats for the Golden Bears (5-8, 3-7), who have also lost five of their last six games.