Gael boys handle Cougars, 56-43
MANSON — With a tenuous seven-point lead at halftime, the St. Edmond boys basketball team adjusted its strategy in the locker room against Manson Northwest Webster here on Monday night.
The corrections paid off, as the Gaels pulled away to post a 56-43 non-conference victory over the Cougars.
Head coach Adolph Kochendorfer’s squad outscored MNW by an 18-5 count in the third period. Suddenly, a single-digit advantage had ballooned to 20.
“We talked about moving the basketball more and leaning on each other with an extra pass, as well as getting more post touches and working it inside-out,” Kochendorfer said. “There was just too much one-on-one going on in the (second period). It really bogged us down. We did a much better job of moving the basketball, reversing it and getting some good angles on passes in the low post, where we could kick it out to an open shooter.”
Junior Hayden Mayer led St. Edmond (5-7 overall) with 16 points. Classmate Quinten McCarville had the hot hand in the third quarter and added 12 for the game.
“Quinten knocked down some open looks,” Kochendorfer said. “Hayden played well, and Sean (Flattery) did too, on the boards and defensively.
“We got some really productive minutes from our bench. Anthony Lacina played tough on defense and rebounded well. And Jackson Palmer had a very solid floor game with at least five assists.”
The Cougars didn’t give up, taking the fourth period by a 20-13 count.
“Our guys played hard, and that last quarter was a bright spot,” MNW head coach Caleb Wubben said. “They kept battling. We were still scrambling after loose balls and taking charges. We got into some foul trouble in that third quarter and went to a zone. They hit three or four (three-pointers) on us during that stretch and that really (extended the deficit).
“Consistency, especially on offense, has just been a real struggle for us this year. We almost always have a different person leading us in scoring every night. We just don’t quite have enough (offensive firepower) to build the kind of momentum we need.”
Connor Youngdale had nine points to lead the Cougars (1-9).
The Gaels return to action on Tuesday night at home against Clarion-Goldfield/Dows (5-5). St. Edmond posted a 62-57 win in Clarion last month.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge,” Kochendorfer said. “That was a really close ballgame (in December against the Cowboys). It was good to see us bounce back (from Saturday’s loss at Clear Lake). They’re a really good squad, and I think we played hard despite the final score (a 79-44 loss). It’s all about taking positive steps in the right direction.”
Manson Northwest Webster is back in action on Tuesday versus Southeast Valley.
ST. EDMOND 56, MANSON NW 43
St. Edmond — Anthony Lacina 4, Noah Simpson 5, Quinten McCarville 12, Jackson Palmer 5, Drew Schaeffer 7, Hayden Mayer 16, Sean Flattery 4, Andrew Elbert 3.
Manson NW — Carson Bower 6, Conner Christiansen 3, Colby Essing 4, Dayton Snell 5, Brody Poppen 6, Shawn Kenyon 5, Connor Youngdale 9, Tate Bianchi 2, Reece Olson 3.
Quarter scores: St. Edmond led 11-4, 25-18, 43-23.