SE girls pass first tourney test

St. Edmond girls head coach Scott Messerly had two words to describe Tuesday night’s 79-23 victory over South Hamilton.

Finally and fun.

After two straight early exits from postseason play, the sixth-ranked (Class 2A) Gaels had no trouble moving on last night over the Hawks.

Alli Huss scored a career-high 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Jaci Stumpf filled her stat line with 18 points, eight assists, five boards and four steals in the victory.

“Finally,” smiled Messerly, when asked about getting that first regional win. “We’ve had a couple tough draws recently and it was nice to come out and play like we are capable of.

“The girls had fun and we really had just a complete game from everybody.”

St. Edmond (20-2 overall) will now host West Marshall (9-13) back inside the Gael gym Friday night at 7 p.m. in a 2A, Region 6 semifinal. The Trojans clipped CMB-Baxter in overtime, 47-45.

Two years ago, St. Edmond was topped by the Hawks, while Carroll Kuemper knocked them out last season.

Messerly had nothing to worry about after just a few minutes of play this time, as the Gaels scored the first 10 points before finishing the opening quarter with a 24-9 advantage.

Huss had 12 and Stumpf 10 in that period alone, while St. Edmond turned 12 South Hamilton (2-21) turnovers into 19 points.

“Jaci and Alli were just on,” Messerly said. “It seemed like everything they put up was going in (the duo went a combined 24-for-37 from the field).

“I thought we continued to move the ball well (the Gaels had 20 assists on 36 made baskets) and didn’t settle for the first open look.”

A 22-0 spurt to open the second put things on cruise control, as St. Edmond took a 52-15 lead into the half.

Savanna Stangeland had nine points to lead the Hawks, who also lost during the regular season to the Gaels, 63-32.

It was more of the same in the third, as St. Edmond pushed its lead to as many as 50 before emptying the bench.

Anna Yung added 10 points, seven assists, seven steals and three boards, while Clare Flattery grabbed eight rebounds. Megan Flattery chipped in seven points and four boards.

“This was just the first one,” Messerly said. “We’ve got to come out Friday and play with this same kind of intensity and energy if we want to keep moving on.”

The Gaels are now 50-6 on their home floor since 2009. They have won 10 of their last 11 overall.