MANSON - For the second straight year, the St. Edmond and East Sac County boys meet in a district final.
Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside the Manson Northwest Webster high school.
Last year, the Gaels (16-6 overall) were stopped one game short of another state appearance by the Raiders (19-3), 49-48 in double overtime.
The winner between St. Edmond and East Sac County will face either South Hamilton or Roland-Story on Saturday in Webster City for one of eight state spots.
Seniors Reed Tellinghuisen and Justin Kraft lead five experienced starters back. The duo combined for 35 points in the win over the Gaels a year ago.
"We know Tellinghuisen is a good player and he is going to get his points," SEHS head coach Adolph Kochendorfer said. "We just need to play defense and rebound.
"Playing in the North Central Conference has really prepared us to go up against some of the best players in the state, best teams in the state and battle in some of the loudest and toughest gyms."
The Gaels opened their postseason run last week with a 60-47 victory over South Central Calhoun. Senior Robby Burke had 23 points, while classmate Konrad Laufersweiler added 12.
St. Edmond pushed an eight-point advantage at halftime to 19 entering the fourth quarter behind an 18-7 run.
"For the most part, I felt like we played a good game (vs. SCC)," Kochendorfer said. "We played hard and had that really good third quarter, which gave us a cushion.
"It was important, I feel, that we had a game like that because it gave us confidence in what we can do."
Burke has been the catalyst all season, as he ranks 15th in the state in total points (295), and is averaging 22.5 per game, while his 12.5 rebounds a night are seventh-most.
Laufersweiler is second on the team at over 12 points a night, while juniors Matthew Bocken and Landon Peed each average eight.
The Raiders were stopped one game short of making a state tourney appearance by West Fork last year, 68-39. West Fork went on to place second, losing to Sheldon in the finals.
Tellinghuisen, a South Dakota State University-signee, ranks 16th in the state in scoring per game at 23.7. He has made 53 three-pointers on the year and is a 72-percent free throw shooter.
Kraft, his running mate, is second at 13.5 points. He has connected on 57 triples and is an 81.5-percent shooter at the line.
Since a pair of back-to-back losses last month, East Sac County has won seven straight. That includes a 61-56 victory over Manson Northwest Webster last Saturday.
South Hamilton (19-3) and Roland-Story (14-8) meet in Boone this evening.