Laufersweiler leads SE boys

Konrad Laufersweiler saw his opportunity Friday night to take the reins of the fifth-ranked (Class 2A) St. Edmond boys.

With all-stater Robby Burke on the bench due to foul trouble, Laufersweiler filled the void, scoring 20 points and grabbing 19 rebounds in a 70-48 victory over previously unbeaten Algona inside the Gael gym.

St. Edmond (3-0 overall, 3-0 in North Central Conference) received 19 points from Landon Peed and 15 and nine out of Burke, who missed all but 85 seconds of the opening half.

“It was a lot easier to score and get those rebounds with Robby out,” laughed Laufersweiler, who had 14 and 12 in the opening half alone. “Robby is our superstar because he’s earned that role. I just try to do what I can.”

Adolph Kochendorfer, who has coached his fair share of standouts at SEHS in 20-plus years, didn’t know what to expect out of Laufersweiler and the rest of the Gaels after Burke was forced to sit.

“We know that Konrad can score, but he was forced to take on a bigger role when Robby went out,” Kochendorfer said. “He stepped up, as did Landon, and that is why we were able to win this game.”

Laufersweiler and Peed combined to go 16-for-25 from the field, with Peed knocking down all three of his three-point attempts. He also had eight assists on the night, as did Matthew Bocken.

Burke, who picked up just one more foul the rest of the way, tallied his 11th career double-double – and third of the season – with 15 points and 13 boards.

Laufersweiler entered the night averaging a double-double himself at 10 and 10, but credited his teammates with allowing him to dominate the glass.

“Everybody really boxed out and the ball just kind of fell to me,” he said. “We’re really coming together as a team, learning each day where everybody is on the court and what to look for.”

Algona (3-1, 2-1) was led by Trevor Loeschen, who scored 11 points. The Bulldogs shot just 35-percent from the field, including 6-for-24 from the three-point line.

Luke TerHark, who came in leading the team in scoring, was held to eight.

“I thought Landon did a great job on TerHark, who can really go off on you if you let him,” Kochendorfer said. “We let them get some open looks early, but our defense played much better in the second half.”

After exiting the break with a four-point advantage, St. Edmond took control in the third quarter. The Gaels made 8 of 15 shots and pushed their lead to 13.

That number increased to 19 thanks to a 19-5 run that stretched from the end of the third to late in the fourth.

“We knew Algona would be a good test, but we wanted to show what we are capable of,” Laufersweiler said.

Kochendorfer echoed those thoughts, saying, “These home games in the conference are ones you have to get, especially at this point in the season. We’ve still got plenty to work on, but we’re headed in the right direction.”

The Gaels hit the road for the first time this season on Tuesday at Webster City. The Lynx (2-2, 2-1) defeated Clarion-Goldfield last night, 64-45.