The scoreboard may have read another double-digit victory for the No. 6 (Class 2A) St. Edmond girls, but head coach Scott Messerly's team was put to the test.
The Gaels claimed a 59-47 victory over Algona inside the SEHS gym Friday night, as Anna Yung scored 25 and Alli Huss added 20.
Despite the strong efforts from those two, though, the Bulldogs hung around until a late spurt by St. Edmond (4-0 overall, 4-0 in North Central Conference) iced the game away.
"That was a battle," Messerly said. "A real grind that I'm happy we came out on top in. The girls played much better in the second half and we showed that even when we can't get out and run a lot, we can fight and win the tough games."
Yung and Huss combined for 13 points in the fourth quarter, as the Gaels outscored Algona (2-4, 1-3) by seven.
"Anna was just really on her game," Messerly said. "She did a great job of driving to the basket and creating contact, and finishing around the rim.
ST. EDMOND 59, ALGONA 47
St. Edmond - Maddie McCarville 2-3 0-0 4, Jaci Stumpf 2-6 2-2 6, Anna Yung 10-16 4-8 25, Alli Huss 8-14 2-2 20, Madeline Baldwin 1-4 0-0 2, Clare Flattery 1-1 0-1 2, Megan Flattery 0-0 0-0 0, Drue Specht 0-1 0-0 0, Brigid Hanley 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 24-46 8-13 59.
Algona - Julie Grether 3-7 1-2 6, Ali Grein 0-1 0-0 0, Tangy Wiseman 5-16 0-0 12, Courtney Groen 1-5 0-0 2, Abby Strohman 2-7 4-4 8, Reba Zeller 1-2 0-0 3, Carly Seely 4-7 3-7 11, Lacey Seely 1-3 3-4 5. Totals: 16-47 11-17 47.
Three-point goals: St. Edmond 3-8 (Yung 1-5, Huss 2-2, Specht 0-1); Algona 4-16 (Grether 1-3, Wiseman 2-8, Groen 0-1, Zeller 1-1, C. Seely 0-1, L. Seely 0-1). Total rebounds: St. Edmond 34, Algona 23. Steals: St. Edmond 4, Algona 7. Blocked shots: St. Edmond 3. Turnovers: St. Edmond 10, Algona 11. Points off turnovers: St. Edmond 8, Algona 9. Team fouls: St. Edmond 17, Algona 17.
"And Alli once again was exceptional, as she has been her whole career here."
Huss also grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked two shots, while Jaci Stumpf scored six points, grabbed seven boards and dished out five assists.
Tangy Wiseman, a multi-time state cross country qualifier, led the Bulldogs with 12 and six rebounds.
On a number of instances it appeared as if St. Edmond was ready to turn the game into a blowout, putting together runs of 12-4 and 12-2 in the first and third quarters.
Each time, though, Algona answered, hitting some timely three-pointers from Wiseman and receiving 11 points off the bench from sophomore Carly Seely.
"Wiseman is a really good player and we struggled to keep her out of the paint," Messerly said. "They are a really good team that forced us to play a different style.
"I tried switching our defenses around a few times, and maybe I should have stayed with what was working, but we just couldn't seem to get much in transition."
In the final eight minutes, the Gaels made 80-percent of their shots from the floor, while Algona struggled to a 4-for-12 performance.
The win was the fifth straight for St. Edmond over the Bulldogs, who strung together multiple league titles only a handful of years ago.
Next up for the Gaels is a visit to Webster City on Tuesday night. The Lynx lost to Clarion-Goldfield last night, 64-45.