No. 5 SE girls roll past Garrigan

Staying right near the top of the North Central Conference standings, the fifth-ranked (Class 2A) St. Edmond girls basketball team posted a decisive 71-41 victory over Bishop Garrigan here Friday night.

Despite a sluggish second quarter, the Gaels (12-1 overall, 11-1 in the NCC) turned up the heat after the break, outscoring the Golden Bears, 41-17.

With the win, defending NCC co-champion SEHS improved to 7-0 at home this season. Since the start of the 2009-10 campaign, the Gaels are now 47-5 in their own gym.

“In the second half, I thought we played much better on both ends of the court,” SEHS head coach Scott Messerly said. “We didn’t make many adjustments at the half, but I told our girls not to be afraid to get out and run. I thought the difference (last night), though, was the play of our big girls inside. We really established ourselves on the low block as the game went on, which is what we wanted to do. This was another nice all-around team win.”

All-state guard Anna Yung, a junior, netted a game-high 24 points for St. Edmond on 9-for-17 shooting.

Senior Alli Huss also delivered 16 points for the green and white, while junior Jaci Stumpf tallied 11. As a unit, the Gaels fired at a 54.2 percent clip from the field, while draining 14 of 16 free throw attempts.

After jumping out to a seemingly commanding 23-9 advantage entering the second period, SEHS watched the Golden Bears (6-8, 6-6) reel off a 15-7 burst over the next eight minutes, slicing the deficit to just six points. Ten of the 15 Gael turnovers were committed during that same stretch.

“When Garrigan made its big run, we just had so much trouble with their 1-3-1 (zone defense),” said Messerly. “Our girls saw it last time around, and it wasn’t too bad. I felt we did a better job of finding the gaps in the second half once we settled down a little more.”

Behind a quick 9-0 flurry following the intermission, St. Edmond was never seriously threatened the rest of the way. Kristin Condoleon’s jumper ended a 5:02 scoreless drought for the Golden Bears to open the second half. Garrigan finished only 1-for-13 from the field in the third, while being held to just four points.

“Our girls have been in a lot of big games, and I thought they really responded coming out of the locker room,” Messerly said. “Hopefully, we can build off that second half performance and keep (the momentum) going against Hampton on Tuesday.”

Eleven different Gaels saw action, with eight of those cracking the scoring column,

Johanna Vaske, a 5-foot-10 sophomore, sparked the visitors with 17 points. Condoleon added nine – with all of those coming in the second half.

Dating back to the start of the 2008-09 season, SEHS has now prevailed in 12 straight meetings against the Golden Bears. On Jan. 4 of this year, the Gaels earned a 71-47 triumph over Garrigan.

Next game for St. Edmond is Tuesday when it visits No. 8 (3A) Hampton-Dumont (11-2, 8-2). The Golden Bears host Humboldt (5-7, 5-5) that same night.