HUMBOLDT - The St. Edmond basketball teams will play three games this week, including two away from home.
First up will be a North Central Conference doubleheader this evening with Humboldt, followed by another road tilt at league foe Clear Lake.
The Gaels return home on Saturday to welcome non-conference opponent South Hamilton.
Action begins in all three games with the girls contest at 6:15 p.m. The boys is set to start at approximately 7:45 p.m.
The St. Edmond boys (3-1 overall, 3-1 in NCC) were knocked from the Class 2A rankings after being defeated by Algona last Friday night at home, 50-46.
Robby Burke leads three players in double figures, averaging almost 20 per game. Aaron Chalstrom is chipping in 14 and David Flattery 11.
"We just need to play games right now," said SEHS head coach Adolph Kochendorfer. "W e need to see the things we are working on in practice translate over to the court under the bright lights."
Kochendorfer is planning on inserting senior Alex Mericle into the starting lineup. Mericle started last year, but has been limited due to a foot injury suffered during football.
"With Alex, he just brings a toughness that we need right now," Kochendorfer said. "He's been a little rusty because he hasn't been able to play the minutes he usually does, so getting him out there should help his confidence."
Mericle averaged a team-best 7.4 rebounds last year, and Kochendorfer feels his presence on the glass will help out an area that has been lacking so far.
"We didn't do a very good job of boxing out (against Algona), and that allowed them several second-chance shots," Kochendorfer said. "Alex is a great rebounder even though he isn't the tallest guy out there. He just has a great feel for it."
Humboldt (2-2, 1-2) snapped a two-fight losing skid by defeating Eagle Grove last week, 74-39. Jaxon Heinz leads the Wildcats in scoring at 14.5 per game.
Clear Lake (3-1, 3-1) has picked up three straight wins since falling to No. 7 (3A) Iowa Falls-Alden in its opener. Spencer Davidson is the top scorer for the Lions, averaging 17.8 a night.
"This will be a good test for us against both Humboldt and Clear Lake," Kochendorfer said. "They are both physical, athletic teams and we'll be pressed hard.
"Plus, we know going on the road is never an easy thing to do, but we need to get mentally tougher and (road games) will make you grow up in a hurry."
South Hamilton (2-2) is led by senior John Hegland, who is scoring 25 points per game on 67-percent shooting from the floor. Hegland is also grabbing 9.3 rebounds per.
The Gael girls (4-1, 4-1) rebounded from their first loss of the season by defeating Algona, 48-34. Sophomore Anna Yung paces a balanced attack with 15.6 a night, while Alli Huss and Jaci Stumpf are each averaging 11.
"We need to limit our turnovers, especially on the road," SEHS head coach Scott Messerly said. "If you turn the ball over, things can get out of a hand in a hurry."
Humboldt (2-3, 1-3) dropped the Eagles last Friday, 55-37. Lauren Friesth (10.6) and Erica Lane (9.6) lead the way in scoring, while Lane is also grabbing nine rebounds a night.
Clear Lake (3-1, 3-1) has won its last three after a loss to the Cadets, including a 53-12 victory over Webster City last week. Senior Megan Loux and junior Trudy Peterson are each averaging 12 points.
"These are going to be a pair of tough road games," Messerly said. "Humboldt is always a difficult place to play, and we've had some tussles with Clear Lake at their place the last couple of years."
South Hamilton (1-4) picked up its first win of the year last week, topping Colfax-Mingo. The Hawkettes stunned St. Edmond last year in regional action, but graduated the majority of their starting lineup.
Mattea Detrick is averaging a team-high nine points per game.