Gael squads back in action

Both the unbeaten St. Edmond boys and girls basketball teams will try to start the new year just like the old one ended here tonight.

The Gaels welcome Eagle Grove for a North Central Conference doubleheader.

Tip for the girls game is set for 6:15 p.m., followed by boys action at approximately 7:45 p.m.

The St. Edmond wrestling squad, meanwhile, returns to the mat tonight in a North Central Conference dual at Algona.

Junior varsity matches start at 6:30 p.m., followed by varsity action around 7 p.m.

In their last outing before the holiday break, the No. 4 (Class 2A) St. Edmond boys (6-0 overall, 5-0 in the NCC) escaped with a 57-53 road victory over South Hamilton. Gael senior Robby Burke ranks eighth among all 2A players in scoring (24.0) and third in rebounding (13.7), while shooting a team-high 64.2 percent (61 of 95) from the field.

Senior Konrad Laufersweiler (16.7) and junior Landon Peed (9.0) are next in line offensively for SEHS. Laufersweiler also grabs 11.7 boards a night.

Still seeking their first win of the season, the Eagles (0-7, 0-6) lean heavily on seniors Zach Ploeger (12.7) and Dylan Thielan (5.6). Eagle Grove is hoping to rebound after suffering a 76-40 home setback to Clear Lake back on Dec. 20. All seven Eagle losses have been by double figures.

Dating back to the 2009-10 campaign, St. Edmond has prevailed seven consecutive times against Eagle Grove.

On the girls side, the fifth-ranked Gaels (7-0, 6-0) are anchored by junior Anna Yung (18.7), senior Alli Huss (18.4) and junior Jaci Stumpf (9.1). Huss pulls down a team-high 11.3 rebounds a night, while Stumpf dishes out 9.3 assists.

Defending co-NCC champion SEHS, which has won every game this winter by at least 12 points, rolled to a lopsided 63-32 victory against South Hamilton in its previous action.

For the Eagles (0-8, 0-7), seniors Kylee Almond (9.3) and Megan Crail (5.5) are the main weapons. Eagle Grove was pounded by No. 6 (3A) Clear Lake two weeks ago, 71-13.

As a unit, the Eagles are averaging 24.5 turnovers per contest and firing at just a 24.1 percent clip from the field.

The Gael wrestlers (1-2 overall, 1-2 in the NCC) are led by second-ranked (Class 1A) senior Vinnie Harvey (220 pounds), second-ranked senior Kaden McClintock (120), and No. 4 junior Ryan Szalat (113).

Harvey, who is a perfect 12-0 on the season, boasts a 132-20 career record. Szalat has compiled 75 varsity wins, and McClintock has tallied 111 victories. Harvey, Szalat and McClintock are all defending state qualifiers.

No. 9 (2A) senior Tyler Frideres (170) and second-ranked junior Joe Teague (182) lead the way for the Bulldogs (1-4, 1-3). Algona was third at the Jones Brothers Invitational in Iowa Falls in its final appearance before the new year. Josh Strohman (160) and Teague were both champions for the Bulldogs. Teague is unbeaten this winter at 16-0.

St. Edmond’s lone dual triumph came by a 42-36 decision against Iowa Falls-Alden. Algona earned its only win over Eagle Grove, 59-18.

A year ago, the Gaels suffered a 42-29 setback to Algona.