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Ed-Co’s Audrie Helmrichs scores inside during the Vikings’ 65-49 loss to Clinton Prince of Peace, in Edgewood, Dec. 21.

A sluggish start led to Edgewood-Colesburg dropping a 65-48 Tri-Rivers Conference girls’ basketball game to Clinton Prince of Peace, at Ed-Co High School, Dec. 21. The Vikings dropped to 0-8 on the season, while the Irish improved to 5-3.

After Prince of Peace took a 36-19 advantage to the halftime break, Ed-Co played its best basketball of the season in the first six minutes of the third period.

“The girls got off to a slow start and found themselves needing to battle back after the first half,” said coach Steve Putz. “As the team settled in, I felt we really started to stay with Prince of Peace offensively and that resulted in a very nice third quarter that brought us within eight at one point.”

Annie Hoffman and freshman Audrie Helmrichs got things going in the post, and when Ella Aulwes — who led the Vikings with 18 points — scored twice to cap an 11-2 run, it was 38-30 midway through the quarter.

After Prince of Peace standout Lilly Isenour scored a pair of baskets inside to increase the Irish lead to 14, Helmrichs and Aulwes found the range to narrow the gap to 10, but it was 48-36 going to the final frame.

An 11-3 run by the Irish to open the period — with a Helmrichs follow and Mikayla Thien’s free throw the only Ed-Co scores — allowed Prince of Peace to open a 59-39 lead on the way to the 65-48 final.

Putz likes what he sees from his team, and knows better things are ahead for the Vikings.

“I’m looking forward to having a week of practice with the team. We need to focus on consistency across the board,” said Putz. “We’re making great progress, but we need to put it all together. I’ve been looking for that combination of players that can mesh well together and keep that consistency going on both sides of the game. Working on the little things during this down time should serve us well as we resume competitive play.”

Ed-Co statistics against Prince of Peace: scoring — Ella Aulwes 18, Marin Gaul seven, Addy Kirby, Helmrichs and Hoffman six, Thein one; rebounds — Helmrichs 11, Hoffman 10, Aulwes six, Kirby, Thein, Gaul and Olivia Welsh two, Schyler Meyer one; assists — Ella Aulwes five, Kirby two, Claire Aulwes and Gaul one; steals — Ella Aulwes five, Kirby and Gaul three, Welsh and Helmrichs one; team shooting — 18-of-63 (28.6%); team free throws — nine-of-15 (60%).