The St. Edmond boys made a resounding statement in the North Central Conference Tuesday night, halting Humboldt’s 10-game win streak – even with leading scorer Robby Burke on the sidelines.
David Flattery scored 19 points and made a block on the potential game-tying three-point attempt, giving the Gaels a 45-42 victory inside the SEHS gym.
Aaron Chalstrom added 13 points, including 10 in the opening half to help St. Edmond (11-4 overall, 10-4 in North Central Conference) even up the season series with the Wildcats (11-3, 10-3).
The 6-foot-6 Burke, who is averaging nearly a double-double, suffered a mild concussion last Friday night and experienced headaches over the weekend. His status for the rest of the week – which includes two games – remains unknown.
“We had one of our best practices of the year (on Monday),” said Chalstrom, who constantly used his quickness to get to the basket and cause Humboldt plenty of foul trouble. “We’ve just been focusing on playing really good defense lately and staying patient on offense.”
The Gaels have won four straight since a home loss to Clarion-Goldfield earlier this month. St. Edmond was defeated by Humboldt in the first meeting, 63-45.
Chalstrom and Flattery combined for 18 in helping the Gaels build a 24-20 advantage. Flattery sank three triples, and was 4-for-4 from the line to help St. Edmond hold off a fast-charging Wildcat squad late.
“I thought our seniors really stepped up,” SEHS head coach Adolph Kochendorfer said. “Aaron Chalstrom did an excellent job of driving to the basket, and Aaron McElroy ran the offense with great leadership.
“And David just continues to be a steady, patient weapon for us on the offensive end.”
Bryan Larson led Humboldt with 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Michael Orness scored 12. Brady Ross and Jaxon Heinz each added eight.
“I felt like we played tight right from the start,” Wildcat head coach Daryl Short said. “Credit St. Edmond for making us play tight, but I also felt like maybe our kids were thinking about the win streak too much. When you put together runs like we did, you start to feel added pressure. As high school kids, you don’t need that added pressure.
“But, again, credit St. Edmond because they were extremely patient and played great defense all night.”
Humboldt put together an 8-1 run to close the third, gaining its first lead since the early stages of the game. The two clubs exchanged the lead to start the fourth before pressure set in.
Leading 42-41 with just under a minute left, the Gael defense forced Orness to dribble towards the half-court line. The senior guard was trapped, and an over-and-back call was made, giving St. Edmond the basketball.
Flattery found Doyle open under the basket, and the junior – starting in place of Burke – laid it in for a one-point advantage. Another Humboldt turnover gave St. Edmond the ball back, and Chalstrom calmly sank a pair of free throws.
“Aaron (McElroy) called that final play for David to make,” Kochendorfer said. “He saw (Humboldt) was leaving an opening under the hoop and he made the decision to run the play. Credit (McElroy) for that call as a senior.”
The Wildcats had one final chance to tie it, but Flattery swatted away a three-point attempt by Heinz.
St. Edmond returns to action on Friday night at home against Clear Lake, while Humboldt travels to Clarion-Goldfield.