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Deans of December

December 22, 2007
By ERIC PRATT, Sports Editor
The St. Edmond boys always seem to be in a festive mood this time of year.

The Gaels of 2007-08 are heading into the Christmas Break on a typical high note after a 67-23 victory over Clarion-Goldfield here Friday. At 8-0 and ranked second in Class 2A, head coach Adolph Kochendorfer’s squad has matched the program’s best start in school history — established two short seasons ago.

Ambitious Decembers are typical at St. Edmond. The Gaels are 35-4 before the two-week intermission in the last five years — a period of time which also includes unparalleled cumulative records of 99-12 overall and 70-9 in North Central Conference play.

‘‘We’re a long way from where we need to be, but we’re getting there,’’ Kochendorfer said. ‘‘We have to work on our consistency offensively, and even on the defensive end, we go through our lulls.

‘‘I’m not going to complain, though. There’s room for improvement, but every team can say that barely over three weeks into the season.’’

Nine of the 10 Gaels who took the court scored, and the bench contributed a season-high 22 points against the Cowboys (0-8 overall and in the NCC). Starters John Engler (12 points, eight rebounds) and Andy Nagel (10 points) led the way, but reserves Zach Baldwin and Taylor Kraayenbrink saw extensive court time and combined for 15 points.

Fifteen of St. Edmond’s 17 fourth-quarter points were from the bench.

‘‘That’s good to see,’’ Kochendorfer said. ‘‘Zach came in and did a nice job, and Taylor’s capable of doing that consistently. He could be a 10 to 15 point scorer if he gets in a groove.

‘‘I think defensively, (the reserves) are really coming along too. We’re still working on our substitution patterns, and with (top bench player) Andrew (McCarville) out with a back injury, it’s important that other guys step up and give us quality minutes.’’

Clarion-Goldfield kept things interesting early. Head coach Brandon Lantzsky’s ballclub held the Gaels scoreless for the first three and a half minutes of the contest, and it was only 4-2 in favor of St. Edmond at the two-minute mark in the first quarter.

Bursts of 11-2 and 11-0 in the second period allowed the Gaels to pull away. St. Edmond made 10 of its 13 attempts from the floor in building a 35-9 advantage by halftime. The Cowboys, who only made seven field goals all night and took just 25 shots the entire evening, had two buckets the entire first half.

Derek Toomsen was C-G’s true bright spot. The senior had a game-high 16 points, including an 8 of 10 performance at the free throw line.

The Gaels, who have held five of their eight opponents under 40 points so far this season, return to action on Jan. 4 at Iowa Falls-Alden.

‘‘We’re going to try and stay in as close to game shape as we can over the break,’’ Kochendorfer said. ‘‘We’ll scrimmage some quality teams who will challenge us and really press us on the things we need to work on most. At this point, it’s about being as productive as possible without playing a game for two weeks and not getting complacent.’’

Contact Eric Pratt at (515) 573-2141, or by e-mail at s'>'>s'>s'>'>sp'>'>

Article Photos

—Messenger photo by Dana Recker

St. Edmond’s Jay Bunte goes up for a shot as Clarion-Goldfield defenders Nathan Huntley (41), Andy Janssen (5) and Derek Toomsen (21) try to stop him in Friday night’s game.

Fact Box

St. Edmond — John Engler 6-12 0-1 12, Andy Nagel 4-6 2-4 10, Jay Bunte 3-6 2-2 9, Joey Flattery 3-7 2-2 9, Bryan Huss 2-5 0-0 5, Zach Baldwin 4-6 0-0 8, Taylor Kraayenbrink 3-7 0-0 7, Patrick Flattery 2-3 0-0 4, Joe McElroy 1-4 0-0 3, Jon Flattery 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 28-58 6-9 67.
Clarion-Goldfield — Derek Toomsen 4-12 8-10 16, Andrew Keller 2-6 1-2 5, Nathan Huntley 1-1 0-3 2, D.J. Bennett 0-3 0-1 0, Andy Janssen 0-1 0-0 0, Mitch Meinke 0-1 0-0 0, Sawyer Stetcher 0-1 0-0 0, Karl Ahrendsen 0-0 0-0 0, Kole Disney 0-0 0-0 0, Waylon Keller 0-0 0-0 0, Blake McCollough 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 7-25 9-16 23.
Quarter scores: St. Edmond led 10-2, 35-9, 50-18. Three-point goals: St. Edmond 5-14 (Bunte 1-1, Joe. Flattery 1-2, McElroy 1-2, Kraayenbrink 1-3, Huss 1-4, Jon. Flattery 0-2); Clarion-Goldfield 0-2 (Bennett 0-1, Toomsen 0-1). Turnovers: St. Edmond 11, Clarion-Goldfield 27. Total fouls: St. Edmond 16, Clarion-Goldfield 12.



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