Nearing the finish line of the regular season, another grueling week of action awaits the St. Edmond boys and girls basketball teams.
The Gaels visit Webster City this evening and step out of North Central Conference play Thursday at Pocahontas Area. SEHS will then host Iowa Falls-Alden on Friday.
Start time for tonight and Friday's girls games is set for 6:15 p.m, followed by the boys around 7:45 p.m.. Thursday's contests will begin at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.
After seeing their five-game winning streak halted in a crushing 47-46 home setback to Carroll Kuemper on Saturday, the defending state runner-up Gael boys (12-5 overall, 11-4 NCC) are looking to turn the page. Junior Robby Burke (17.8 points per game) and senior David Flattery (12.7) are the offensive focal points for SEHS, which received six votes in the latest Class 2A rankings.
Burke - who was recently sidelined for one game due to a concussion - also grabs a team-high 9.7 rebounds a night and is shooting an impressive 68.1 percent (126-for-185) from the field, while Flattery delivers 7.8 boards and 4.9 assists.
"I think we've got to find a way to put that (Kuemper loss) behind us," Gael head coach Adolph Kochendorfer said. "We feel good about having a chance (to win) at the end.
Gael Boys (12-5, 11-4)
G Aaron McElroy, 5-9, sr., 3.9
G Aaron Chalstrom, 6-0, sr., 6.8
F David Flattery, 6-3, sr., 12.7
F Alex Mericle, 6-1, sr., 4.3
C Robby Burke, 6-6, jr., 17.8
Gael Girls (16-2, 14-2)
G Jaci Stumpf, 5-5, so., 8.9
G Anna Yung, 5-8, so., 13.8
F Maddie McCarville, 5-5, jr., 1.7
F Alli Huss, 6-0, jr., 12.8
C Hannah Lentsch, 6-1, sr., 8.8
"Maybe one less turnover or one more made shot here or there, and it would've been a different story."
Mason Myers (13.3), Nick Olmstead (10.4) and Boone Myers (10.1) are the catalysts for the Lynx, who dropped a 44-42 decision to St. Edmond in their earlier meeting this season.
"Like always, we're expecting a tough game over (in Webster City)," said Kochendorfer. "No matter what happens, we just have to keep our nose to the grindstone and continue to improve."
Top threats for the Indians (10-5) are Aaron Youngberg (20.4) and Aaron Aljets (10.5). Youngberg has scored in double figures in every game this season, including at least 20 points on nine occasions.
Pacing the Cadets (13-3, 12-2) are Div. I prospect Casey Schlatter (24.6) and Kort Redmond (9.5). Schlatter, who leads all of 3A in scoring, also pulls down 9.9 rebounds a night. Iowa Falls-Alden narrowly escaped with a 47-44 triumph over the Gaels in their previous encounter.
"You don't get better by playing weak teams, so hopefully this tough stretch can help us before heading into the postseason," Kochendorfer said.
Winners of four straight games, the Gael girls (16-2, 14-2) appear to be hitting their stride at the most opportune time. Sophomore Anna Yung (13.8) and junior Alli Huss (12.8) are the main weapons for SEHS, which is fresh off a hard-fought 46-43 victory over Kuemper.
"Coming in sitting at 16-2, we want to finish the season strong and with a lot of momentum," said St. Edmond head coach Scott Messerly said. "It's important for us to continue to play well in these last three games of the regular season."
Hannah Myers (5.5) and Rachel Kauffman (5.2) are the key cogs for the Lynx (2-15, 2-12), who have dropped 10 consecutive games.
"Webster City has had kind of a rough year, but playing them on their home court is always tough," Messerly said. "We just need to worry about ourselves and do what we do best (tonight)."
Leading the way for Pocahontas Area (8-10), which currently sports a four-game victory streak of its own, are Hannah Stafford (10.7) and Nicole Roetman (7.9).
Iowa Falls-Alden (11-6, 9-5) leans heavily on Jamie Peterson (12.5) and Lindsay Barnhart (8.9). The Cadets have prevailed in four of their past five games.