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Gael girls edged by Cadets

—Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Leah Neverman puts up a shot against Iowa Falls-Alden. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

The St. Edmond girls took last month’s loss at Iowa Falls-Alden personally.

While the Gaels weren’t quite able to earn their first win of the season on Tuesday in the rematch with the Cadets, head coach Steve Neuberger appreciated his team’s competitve nature as they inched closer to tasting success.

A 12-0 run that started near the end of the third quarter and spilled well into the fourth wound up being the difference for IF-A in a 36-30 road victory. St. Edmond scratched and clawed all evening long, but a 25-22 lead disappeared during a nearly 11-minute drought down the stretch on Senior Night.

“We kept battling,” Neuberger said. “We just didn’t defend well over there (during the first meeting), so we challenged ourselves to do a better job there and the girls responded.

“It’s frustrating, because it wasn’t the result we were looking for and we had our chances, but I’m very proud of the way we fought. And even when we went through that dry spell and got down by nine with about two minutes left, we didn’t quit.”

The Cadets (3-18 overall, 2-12 in the NCC) jumped out to a 30-9 halftime advantage on their way to a 53-23 rout of the Gaels less than two weeks ago. Tuesday was a much different story, as St. Edmond led at the end of the first quarter, then rallied to go back up on consecutive baskets by Cambrie McBride and Leah Neverman with 3:51 remaining in the third quarter.

The Gaels went ice cold from that point on, though, and trailed 34-25 before a last-ditch effort in the final minute of regulation. Field goals by Kelli Kersten and Aubrey Bemrich, along with a Bemrich free throw, got St. Edmond back within four with 32 seconds to go.

A pair of foul shots from Hailey Bridgewater and a defensive stand sealed the victory for IF-A.

Neverman finished with 14 points for the Gaels, who were only 2 of 8 at the charity stripe and 2-for-16 from three-point range.

St. Edmond turned the ball over 19 times, which was a significant decrease from the first meeting. The Gaels had only three turnovers in the first quarter in gaining the upper-hand.

“We had a few costly mistakes late, but for the most part, we did a much better job valuing the basketball,” Neuberger said. “Hopefully, this gives us some momentum going into the postseason, where everyone starts 0-0.That has to be our mindset. We’ve played a lot of tough 2A and 3A opponents (BC Moore has the Gaels’ strength of schedule ranked third in 1A). We’re not ready for the season to be over.”

Jenny Wibholm had 14 points for the Cadets, who have won two in a row.

Seniors McBride, Emma Neverman and Jocy Timmerman were recognized after the game for the Gaels, who open Class 1A regional play on Thursday at Storm Lake St. Mary’s (10-10).

IOWA FALLS-ALDEN 36, ST. EDMOND 30

Iowa Falls-Alden — Jenny Wibholm 5-14 2-4 14, Hailey Bridgewater 3-15 2-2 10, Marlee Lancaster 1-5 0-0 3, Kate Hutchinson 0-0 0-0 0, Alexis Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Cailin Reimer 2-3 1-1 5, Abigail Ites 1-3 1-2 4, Emma Harding 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 12-42 6-9 36.

St. Edmond — Leah Neverman 6-15 0-1 14, Cambrie McBride 3-14 1-5 7, Aubrey Bemrich 2-4 1-2 5, Emma Neverman 0-0 0-0 0, Gracie Harvey 0-5 0-0 0, Kelli Kersten 2-2 0-0 4, Avery Galles 0-1 0-0 0, Leah Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-41 2-8 30.

Quarter scores: St. Edmond led 8-6; IF-A led 20-17, 27-25. Three-point goals: IF-A 6-17 (Wibholm 2-6, Bridgewater 2-8, Lancaster 1-2, Ites 1-1); St. Edmond 2-16 (L. Neverman 2-9, McBride 0-5, Bemrich 0-2). Turnovers: IF-A 24, St. Edmond 19. Total fouls: IF-A 9, St. Edmond 13.