Looking to benefit from the comforts of their own gym, the St. Edmond boys and girls basketball teams will host three doubleheaders this week.
The Gaels welcome Humboldt tonight and Clear Lake Friday in a pair of North Central Conference matchups. SEHS will then step out of league play against Carroll Kuemper on Saturday.
Tip for all three girls games is set for 6:15 p.m., followed by boys action at around 7:45 p.m.
Since suffering a rare home setback to Clarion-Goldfield, the defending state runner-up SEHS boys have responded with three straight victories, including a 61-29 drubbing of Algona on Friday. Junior Robby Burke (18.5 points per game) and senior David Flattery (11.4) are the top offensive threats for the Gaels, who received six votes in the latest Class 2A rankings. Burke is also shooting a team-high 68.6 percent (116-for-169) from the field, while grabbing 9.9 rebounds a night. Flattery delivers 8.1 boards and 4.9 assists an outing.
"I think we're getting better, but we just need to keep being consistent," SEHS head coach Adolph Kochendorfer said. "Ball movement and defensive rotations are a couple of areas that we can still improve on."
Surging Humboldt (11-2, 10-2) has reeled off 10 straight wins after dropping back-to-back games at Clear Lake and Bishop Garrigan. Bryan Larson (13.9), Michael Orness (13.8) and Jaxon Heinz (12.5) anchor the balanced attack for the Wildcats, who picked up nine votes in the most recent 3A poll. In their earlier meeting this season, Humboldt posted a convincing 63-45 triumph against St. Edmond.
Gael Boys (10-4, 9-4)
G Aaron McElroy, 5-9, sr., 4.4
G Aaron Chalstrom, 6-0, sr., 6.6
F David Flattery, 6-3, sr., 11.4
F Alex Mericle, 6-1, sr., 3.8
C Robby Burke, 6-6, jr., 18.5
Gael Girls (13-2, 12-2)
G Jaci Stumpf, 5-5, so., 8.6
G Anna Yung, 5-8, so., 14.1
F Maddie McCarville, 5-5, jr., 1.8
F Alli Huss, 6-0, jr., 12.6
C Hannah Lentsch, 6-1, sr., 8.7
"Humboldt has a very good team and is going to be one heck of a challenge," said Kochendorfer. "We'd like to be able to stay in the game, but we really need to scrap in order to do that."
Spencer Davidson (16.7) and Pete Swenson (11.9) are the main weapons for Clear Lake (9-3, 8-3), which has prevailed in five of its past six outings.
Kuemper (9-6) leans heavily on Sam Brincks (17.3) and Cole Neary (15.5). The Knights have already upset then-No. 5 (3A) Atlantic and then-No. 2 (3A) Creston on the road this season, along with perennial power Harlan.
"Clear Lake and Kuemper will both be good tests for us," Kochendorfer said. "Our guys have to come out ready to play from the start."
After seeing their nine-game win streak snapped by Hampton-Dumont last Tuesday, the Gael girls (13-2, 12-2) bounced back with a 50-40 victory at Algona on Friday. Sophomore Anna Yung (14.1) and junior Alli Huss (12.6) are the focal points in the SEHS lineup. Huss also pulls down 8.8 rebounds per contest, while sophomore Jaci Stumpf contributes 5.4 assists and 4.1 steals a night.
"We played pretty well in the fourth quarter against Algona to string out a pretty solid win," said Gael head coach Scott Messerly. "With three games this week and three more again next week, it's important for us to keep building momentum before heading into the postseason."
Erica Lane (8.9) and Lauren Friesth (8.6) are the catalysts for the Wildcats (5-9, 4-8), who are aiming to avenge a previous 64-43 loss to St. Edmond.
Leading the way for the Lions (10-3, 9-2) are Logan Anderson (9.9) and Trudy Peterson (8.4). Clear Lake has won six of its past seven games.
Kuemper (9-5) is spearheaded by Iowa State signee Lexi Albrecht (15.5) and Maria Dentlinger (10.2). The Knights, who claimed a 67-43 triumph over the Gaels last winter, have managed three victories in their last four outings.