Gael boys topple Cowboys

This time around, the St. Edmond boys basketball team wasn’t about to be denied by Clarion-Goldfield.

Avenging last year’s rare home loss to the Cowboys, the Gaels (1-0 overall, 1-0 in the North Central Conference) opened their 2013-14 season on a high note with a convincing 79-33 victory Friday night at the SEHS gym.

After starting the game on a 13-3 run, St. Edmond led the rest of the way. The Gaels fired at a 52.2 percent (26-for-46) clip from the field, while outrebounding Clarion-Goldfield, 46-18.

“I didn’t really know what to expect going in, but I thought we came out ready to play and handled (the C-G) press well,” SEHS head coach Adolph Kochendorfer said. “We worked hard in practice this week, and we came out focused (Friday), which is a good sign.

“Considering a lot of our guys don’t have much court experience at the varsity level, I was happy with our performance.”

Robby Burke, a 6-foot-6 senior and returning all-NCC pick, delivered game-highs in both points (22) and rebounds (15) for the Gaels.

“I thought Robby did a nice job of being physical inside,” said Kochendorfer. “He had two or three guys on him for most of the night, but he stayed with it.”

Junior Landon Peed also tallied 16 points and five steals for St. Edmond, while senior Konrad Laufersweiler added 12 points and nine boards before fouling out early in the fourth quarter. All 12 Gaels saw action in the contest, with eight of those making at least one hoop.

“Landon really got in the flow offensively in the first half (Peed scored 13 points before the break), and it’s all about gaining confidence,” Kochendorfer said. “Konrad also stepped up a little more in the second half. We’re going to need his rebounding as the year goes on.”

Cody Kapka and Austin Keller paced the Cowboys (1-1, 1-1) with seven points apiece. Clarion-Goldfield was held to only 28.6 percent (12 of 42) shooting. The Cowboys were whistled for 31 fouls compared to 21 for St. Edmond.

“I thought our guys adjusted pretty good to (the new hand-checking rule),” said Kochendorfer. “You just need to play smarter defense now.”

As a team, the Gaels registered 27 assists and 11 steals.

Next outing for SEHS is Tuesday when it welcomes Hampton-Dumont (0-3, 0-2). The Bulldogs suffered a 58-48 setback Friday at Algona.