Sunday, February 25, 2024

SE boys coast in 1A opener

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Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: JT Laufersweiler scores for St. Edmond on Monday during their 1A postseason opener against GTRA. For more photos, please visit

Adolph Kochendorfer loves to preach defense and rebounding.

On Monday night, his St. Edmond boys took those two areas to heart.

The Gaels used a 23-2 run to start the second half in taking care of GTRA inside the SEHS gym to advance in Class 1A district play, 62-31.

Up next for St. Edmond (11-11 overall) will be Newell-Fonda (13-9) in Newell on Thursday night. The Mustangs topped Trinity Christian, 82-53.

Grant Galles scored 11 points off the bench — all in the third quarter — to spearhead the rally and lead the Gaels. Hunter Horn and Jakob Koopman each had 10 points, with Koopman adding 10 rebounds and Horn eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal.

“It was a great defensive effort by the guys,” Kochendorfer said. “We watched (GTRA) play last week and they can really shoot it when you give them space. I thought we switched and helped, didn’t allow them to get open looks and really crashed the boards.

“Grant had a big night, Jakob was all over the glass and Hunter did a great job against (Sullivan) Hall.”

Hall, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, was held to just four points, as he did not attempt a shot from the field until there was two minutes left in the first half. Kasey Hough had eight points, 10 below his average coming in for the Titans (11-11).

“When they played Harris-Lake Park last week, they got down 13-0 to start and came all the way back to win,” Kochendorfer said. “The Hough kid can really shoot it and they have some other kids that can get hot.

“We just didn’t let up right from the start with our intensity on defense.”

St. Edmond never trailed in this one, racing out to a 7-0 lead on bucket from Koopman, a three by senior JT Laufersweiler and a basket by McElroy. Horn, the leading scorer for the team coming in, recorded assists on two of those.

An 8-0 run near the end of the quarter made it 17-4 in favor of the Gaels, as they lead grew to as many as 33 when Galles sank a 3-pointer to end the third.

“We talked at half about coming out and putting the game out of reach,” Kochendorfer said. “We felt good about the lead we had (at the break), but you never want to let a team hang around.”

St. Edmond and Newell-Fonda last met in 2019, with the Mustangs posting an 84-65 victory. They have won three straight in the series, which includes three postseason meetings.

In those games, the Gaels have won two of three.


St. Edmond — Sam Mericle 1-9 2-2 5, Jakob Koopman 4-6 2-2 10, Jack McElroy 5-12 0-0 11, JT Laufersweiler 2-6 2-2 7, Hunter Horn 5-13 0-0 10, Grant Galles 4-5 2-3 11, Andrew Clavey 2-3 0-0 5, Ty Mericle 1-1 0-0 3, Thomas Cosgrove 0-0 0-2 0, Elias Kolacia 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 25-57 8-11 62.

GTRA — Isaac Murphy 2-7 0-2 4, Teagan Hanson 2-5 0-0 6, Kasey Hough 4-17 0-0 8, Landon Dietrich 2-6 0-2 4, Sullivan Hall 2-4 0-0 4, Jaxson Schnell 0-1 0-2 0, Zach Borchers 1-2 0-0 2, Collin Hoffman 0-2 0-0 0, Shane Moran 0-0 0-0 0, Lucas Girres 1-2 0-0 3. Totals: 14-46 0-6 3-18 31.

Quarter scores: St. Edmond led 17-11, 27-15, 50-17. Three-point goals: St. Edmond 6-22 (S. Mericle 1-7, Koopman 0-1, McElroy 1-4, Laufersweiler 1-4, Horn 0-1, Galles 1-1, Clavey 1-2, T. Mericle 1-1, Kolacia 0-1), GTRA 3-18 (Murphy 0-2, Hanson 2-4, Hough 0-7, Dietrich 0-1, Borchers 0-1, Girres 1-2). Total rebounds: St. Edmond 38, GTRA 28. Steals: St. Edmond 6, GTRA 5. Blocked shots: St. Edmond 3, GTRA 2. Turnovers: St. Edmond 10, GTRA 19. Team fouls: St. Edmond 5, GTRA 9.

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