The St. James boys basketball team (6-3) made the trip to New Haven for their first conference game on Friday, Jan. 6. It was a defensive battle for both teams, but a lights out performance by Ryan Harlan boosted the Tigers to a 56-42 win.
The Tigers didn't have the easiest night against New Haven, as they were light at forward for most of the night. Bailey Terrill spent most of last week nursing a knee injury and was held out of Friday's game. They were also forced to play without Ivan Fuhring for long stretches, as he was in foul trouble all night long. As a result, St. James struggled on the boards, only grabbing 18 rebounds as a team all game.
The defense was crucial all night long, but St. James was able to break through the New Haven defensive in the first to take an early lead. Seven different Tigers scored in a 16 point first quarter, as they managed to double up New Haven with great defense. They carried that 16-8 lead into the second quarter and were able to maintain their lead throughout the game.
The biggest asset on the defensive side of the ball for St. James was getting into passing lanes. The Tigers forced a number of turnovers and had 14 clear steals in the contest. That helped them jumpstart their offense on the fastbreak and keep New Haven on their heels all night long. The Shamrocks only managed to outscore St. James in one quarter, as they tried to make a late push in the fourth, but it was too little too late and the Tigers were able to walk away with a 56-42 win.
Ryan Harlan was the standout in the game, as he was the only player on either team to score in double figures. He dropped 20 points in the win and chipped in four rebounds, which led the team, and three assists and three steals. Trey Marshall and Kam Barber each added nine points of their own. Marshall also led the team in steals with four and tied Harlan for the team lead in assists with three. Barber was a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc for his nine points.
The Tigers followed the win with game on Tuesday, Jan. 10, staying on the road with a trip to Cuba. Results from that game were not available at press time. St. James will next play against Bourbon at home on Friday, Jan. 13 for Homecoming.
Harlan - 20 pts, 4 rebs, 3 ast. 3 stls; Marshall - 9 pts, 4 stls, 3 asts; Barber - 9 pts, Davis - 6 pts, Fuhring - 5 pts, Recker, Keeney and Uffman - 2 pts, Parker - 1 pt