The St. James boys basketball team opened their season with the FCNB Bank-It Challenge at Sullivan High School on Tuesday, Nov. 28. The Tigers faced off against Salem and held off a second half comeback to win 52-42.

St. James had to fight through a tough first quarter to hold on to a slim 13-10 lead and had a similar performance in the second to take a 25-19 lead at the half. 

Salem kicked things into overdrive in the third to trim into that lead with a 15-point quarter. The Tigers managed to cling to that lead with a 10-point quarter, going into the fourth with a 35-34 lead. 

St. James went on to dominate the fourth quarter, exploding for 17 points to cruise to a victory. The Tiger defense held Salem to just eight points on their way to a 52-42 win.

"It was a good first win for us," said head coach Ben Smith. "There were a lot of positive plays. The guys played hard, and defended really well." 

Ryan Harlan was a force to be reckoned with, leading St. James offensively with 17 points. He was made three of his five three point attempts and dished out an assist on the offensive end. Defensively, he pulled down six rebounds and had two steals in the win. Ivan Fuhring also had a great all-around game with 10 points, three assists, three rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Carter Keeney was strong on both sides of the ball with six points and was one of three people to pull down six boards. He also tied with Ty Uffmann for the team lead in steals with four and blocked one shot.. Mason Parker had seven points, two assists and six rebounds in the victory.

As a team, the Tigers did a great job of filling passing lanes with 17 steals, while only turning the ball over 10 times. They also had a strong night on the boards with 24 rebounds.

St. James will continue play in the Bank-It Challenge with a matchup against Steelville on Thursday, Nov. 30.