Gael boys freeze Clear Lake

Torrid first-half shooting helped lift the St. Edmond boys basketball team to a decisive 66-55 North Central Conference home victory over Clear Lake here on Friday night.

Senior David Flattery sparked the Gaels (12-4 overall, 11-4 NCC) with 17 points, while juniors Eddie Doyle and Robby Burke – who came off the bench in his return from a concussion – each added 15. St. Edmond, which has now won five straight games, went 15-for-23 from the field before the break in building a comfortable 41-18 advantage that stood up the rest of the way.

“I thought we played really well on both ends of the floor in the first half,” Gael head coach Adolph Kochendorfer said. “Credit (the Lions) for never quitting, though, and taking it right at us, especially in the fourth quarter. They caught us off guard a little bit, and we kind of got back on our heels and complacent.

“This was a good learning experience for our guys against a quality team.”

After spotting the visitors an early lead, SEHS reeled off a furious 21-7 run to close out the opening period. The Gaels finished 19-for-25 from the charity stripe in the contest, including 11 of 13 down the stretch to hold off a late Clear Lake charge, which sliced the deficit to just eight with 1:29 remaining.

“Ever since the Clarion loss (a 49-42 home loss on Jan. 8), our guys have responded and been ready to go,” said Kochendorfer. “We still have plenty of room for improvement, but (last night) was another step in the right direction.”

Flattery also dished out seven assists, while classmate Alex Mericle and Doyle grabbed seven and six rebounds, respectively.

Spencer Davidson (20), Pete Swenson (12) and Chase Lester (11) anchored the offensive attack for the Lions (11-4, 10-4), who saw their four-game win streak snapped in the loss. Clear Lake was unable to avenge an earlier 56-43 setback to St. Edmond.

The Gaels return to action this evening, hosting Carroll Kuemper (9-7).