Familiar foe for Gaels in semis

ALGONA – Adolph Kochendorfer didn’t have to say a word to his team about what stands in front of them tonight.

The Gaels (16-6 overall) will meet Newell-Fonda (7-14) in a Class 1A regional semifinal.

Action will begin at 8 p.m. in Algona at Bishop Garrigan High School.

The Gaels own a convincing 53-27 victory over the Mustangs from earlier this season, but Kochendorfer has faith his kids know what is at stake.

“I didn’t have to say anything,” Kochendorfer said. “We just have to keep playing the way we have.

“These seniors have brothers that have been through this and know the urgency there is – they’ll be ready to play.”

The Gaels, who have won four straight contests, including a 70-34 postseason win against Sioux Central, had a strong defensive effort the first time around against Newell-Fonda.

“We did a good job on defense,” Kochendorfer said. “We also kept them off the glass and didn’t give them any second chance opportunities.”

Colin Flattery and Harrison Mayer led the Gaels the first time around, scoring 14 each. Will Woodruff also had a big game for St. Edmond, with nine points, 14 rebounds and six steals.

Jesse Haack and Jake Davis led the Mustangs with seven points each.

Charlie Doyle (12.2), John Woodruff (3.2), Mayer (12.4), Tate O’Tool (3.3) and Flattery (7.2) will be the five starters for the Gaels.

“They can rebound the ball well,” Kochendorfer said. “Offensively they go to the glass pretty hard and they have some shooters and they have a good shooter inside.

“They have nothing to lose.”

Kochendorfer is hoping the rugged stretch the Gaels went through in the North Central Conference has helped them prepare for the postseason stretch.

“I think (the NCC) has a lot of rivalry games, so everybody is giving you their best shot,” Kochendorfer said. “We’re the smallest school (in the league), so hopefully that will pay off.”