Close losses have been a recurring theme lately for the St. Edmond boys basketball team.
Senior Night here Friday turned into another heartbreaker.
Dropping their fourth straight by four points or less, the Gaels (12-8 overall, 11-6 NCC) suffered a 49-46 North Central Conference setback to league-leading Iowa Falls-Alden at the SEHS gym.
St. Edmond has now fallen seven consecutive times in the head-to-head series against the Cadets dating back to the 2009-10 campaign.
"I thought we gave a pretty solid effort, but it all comes down to the little things in a game like this," Gael head coach Adolph Kochendorfer said. "One missed defensive assignment or bad pass into the post was maybe the difference in the end. Our guys are still working hard, though, and haven't laid down yet by any means."
Senior forward David Flattery propelled the defending Class 2A state runner-up Gaels with 14 points and five assists before fouling out late, while junior center Robby Burke tallied nine points and nine rebounds. Despite committing just six turnovers, St. Edmond shot only 39.1 percent (18-for-46) from the field.
IOWA FALLS-ALDEN 49, ST. EDMOND 46
Iowa Falls-Alden - Jake Campbell 1-2 2-3 5, Parker Reynolds 2-5 0-0 4, Casey Schlatter 9-20 7-8 26, Kort Redmond 2-8 2-2 8, Brayden McDaniel 2-3 0-1 2, Nick Jensen 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 17-40 11-14 49.
St. Edmond - David Flattery 5-14 1-1 14, Aaron Chalstrom 2-8 0-0 6, Aaron McElroy 3-7 0-0 8, Alex Mericle 1-2 0-0 2, Robby Burke 4-9 1-3 9, Eddie Doyle 2-5 0-0 4, Hank Crimmins 0-0 0-0 0, Matthew Bocken 1-1 0-0 3. Totals: 18-46 2-4 46.
Quarter scores: Iowa Falls-Alden led 11-9, 20-19, 37-32. Three-point goals: Iowa Falls-Alden 4-13 (Campbell 1-2, Reynolds 0-1, Schlatter 1-3, Redmond 2-7); St. Edmond 8-20 (Flattery 3-6, Chalstrom 2-7, McElroy 2-5, Doyle 0-1, Bocken 1-1). Total rebounds: Iowa Falls-Alden 29, St. Edmond 24. Turnovers: Iowa Falls-Alden 7, St. Edmond 6. Total fouls: Iowa Falls-Alden 9, St. Edmond 17. Fouled out: Flattery. Technical foul: St. Edmond bench.
"David started off well again offensively (Flattery scored nine points in the first quarter), but it takes so much energy guarding the other team's best player that it's easy to lose your legs once in awhile," said Kochendorfer. "As a team, we had a lot of good looks (Friday) that we just couldn't get to fall, especially when we needed them most."
Trailing by the slimmest of margins at the break, the Gaels opened the second half on a mini 6-2 run, however, Iowa Falls-Alden used a 15-7 spurt of their own to jump back in front the rest of the way.
Div. I prospect Casey Schlatter - who entered the night as the top scorer in 3A with a 25.1 per game average - poured in a game-high 26 points on 9-for-20 shooting for the Cadets (15-3, 14-2), who clinched at least a share of the NCC crown with their fourth consecutive win. Schlatter also grabbed nine rebounds.
"At 6-foot-9, Schlatter's a difficult matchup for us with his versatility," Kochendorfer said. "He can really space the floor with both his shooting and passing ability."
Six of St. Edmond's eight losses this season have been decided by four points or less, including all four in the past week during its current slide.
Flattery, Aaron Chalstrom, Aaron McElroy, Alex Mericle, Thomas Woodruff and Matt Remsburg were all recognized for Senior Night during halftime of Friday's girls contest.
"We need to put this (loss) behind us now and get ready for Eagle Grove," said Kochendorfer. "I'm looking forward to seeing us end the season strong and see if we can't make a run in the postseason."
Looking to turn the page, St. Edmond welcomes the Eagles (2-16, 1-15) for their regular-season finale on Tuesday. Eagle Grove was pounded by Clear Lake last night, 66-44.