Two-game homestand for Gaels
Two more North Central Conference home doubleheaders await the St. Edmond boys and girls basketball teams this week.
Tonight, the Gaels will face Hampton-Dumont. SEHS will then square off with Algona on Friday.
Tip for both girls games is set for 6:15 p.m., followed by the boys at approximately 7:45 p.m.
In their season debut Friday, the fifth-ranked (Class 2A) St. Edmond boys (1-0 overall, 1-0 NCC) trounced Clarion-Goldfield by a 79-33 final. Senior Robby Burke was the catalyst for the Gaels, notching 22 points and 15 rebounds.
Junior Landon Peed (16) and senior Konrad Laufersweiler (12) were the other top offensive performers for SEHS. Peed added five steals, while Laufersweiler grabbed nine boards.
Against the Cowboys, the Gaels dished out 27 assists compared to just 12 turnovers.
“I think we did some things well (Friday), but we need to play some more games to see exactly where we’re at,” said St. Edmond head coach Adolph Kochendorfer. “We’ve been working on a some different things in practice, and our guys just need to get that experience.”
Hampton-Dumont (0-3, 0-2) dropped a 58-48 decision to Algona in its previous outing. Juniors Charlie Flickenger (15.3) and Parker Claypool (11.7) are the focal points for the Bulldogs.
“Hampton’s got some new guys this year, but they’ve been right in every game, so they must be doing something right,” Kochendorfer said. “(H-D head coach) Heath (Walton) always does a nice job with them. Anything can happen if they get on a hot streak.”
Juniors Luke TerHark (14.5) and Peter Hollinger (12.5) form a reliable 1-2 tandem for Algona (2-0, 1-0). Last year, the Bulldogs edged the Gaels on their home court, 50-46.
“Algona really likes to spread you out (defensively),” said Kochendorfer. “TerHark has gotten better every year, and he can really shoot it.”
Scott Messerly’s No. 6 Gael girls (2-0, 2-0) are coming off a 71-34 rout of Clarion-Goldfield. Junior Anna Yung (18.0) and senior Alli Huss (16.0) anchor the SEHS offensive attack. Point guard Jaci Stumpf, a junior, is also tied for second in the state in assists (27). Huss contributes nine rebounds and two and a half blocks a night, and junior Madeline Baldwin is shooting an impressive 81.8 percent (9-for-11) from the field.
The Gaels are averaging 73 points per contest, while allowing just 30.
“We have a hard-working group that has played well so far,” said Messerly. “Our kids are really sharing the basketball. We know we can score some points, but we hope to continue to get better on the defensive end. We always want to hold teams to about 30 points or less.”
Jessica Speake (23.3) and Jordan Prantner (14.7), both sophomores, are the main weapons for Hampton-Dumont (3-0, 2-0), which earned a share of the NCC title along with SEHS last winter. Speake is actually tied for second among all 3A players in scoring, while senior Paige Wragge of the Bulldogs leads 3A in rebounds (14.3).
Algona (2-2, 1-1) is paced by seniors Tangy Wiseman (14.5) and Reba Zeller (8.5). The Bulldogs are looking to snap a mini two-game slide.