The St. James boys basketball team (13-6) made the trip down to Licking on Tuesday, Jan. 31. The Tigers were able to force overtime against the Wildcats, but could not score in the overtime period and lost 55-50.
Licking managed to jump out to a quick 7-0 lead to start the contest, but the Tigers were able to recover from the rocky start. St. James held Licking to just two more points for the remainder of the quarter, while storming back into the game with eight points of their own to cut the deficit to just one point at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw a bit more offense, but the game remained close. St. James had a slight edge with 18 points, while also managing to slow down one of Licking's biggest offensive threats, Nathan Wilson. The Tigers held him to just seven first half points, which helped them take a 26-25 lead at the half.
Licking was able to quickly take back the lead in the third. This game was all about defense and Licking's stood stronger in the third. St. James scored just nine points in the quarter and the Wildcats went back in front 39-35 by the end of the third.
The Licking lead was eventually stretched out to five, but then St. James fought back. The Tigers inched their way back throughout the fourth quarter and were able to tie the game on a basket by Bailey Terrill with just under a minute remaining. The fourth quarter would end in a 50-50 tie, forcing overtime.
Overtime was all Licking, as St. James wasn't able to score in the period. Wilson was able to cap off a strong game for Licking in the overtime and second half. He ended the game with 29 points, 22 of which he scored after the half. Brady Smith added 15 of his own, as the two combined for all but 11 of Licking's offense.
Traveling to Licking is no easy task, but St. James managed pretty well. Tyler Davis had his second consecutive game as one of the team's top scorers and he led the Tigers with 16 points off the bench. He managed a lot of his offense on second chance points with offensive rebounds. Trey Marshall was the only other Tiger in double figures with 15 points, though Terrill was close with eight points.
"I was really pleased with how hard the guys played last night. Licking is a good team, and it's a tough gym to play in," said head coach Ben Smith. "We wished the outcome had gone differently, but it was a great high school ball game, with a good atmosphere. I like the direction we are heading. As long as we keep working, and trying to get better, it should be a pretty exciting final stretch of the season."
The Tiger JV managed to win a tight ballgame in their matchup, beating Licking 47-41. The offense was well balanced with four players scoring seven or more points.
Next up for St. James is Courtwarming against Pacific on Friday, Feb. 3.
Davis - 16, Marshall - 15, Terrill - 8, Barber - 5, Harlan - 3, Recker - 3