The St. James boys basketball team (7-3) closed out their 2018 schedule with a trip to Dixon on Friday, Dec. 22. The Tigers scored the first points of the game and never trailed on their way to an 85-70 win.
St. James took control early with a great first quarter on the backs of Ryan Harlan and Ivan Fuhring. The senior duo combined for 21 points in the opening frame with Harlan knocking down two threes for 12 first-quarter points and Fuhring hitting one from long range on his way to nine points. Dixon hit three three-pointers to keep things close with 17 points, but St. James was able to take a seven point lead into the second quarter.
The Tigers slowed down after the first, but they were still able to maintain their lead. Harlan added five more points for St. James in the second, bringing his first half total 17. The Tigers scored 16 in the quarter, but Dixon was able to keep pace with 18 points. The Bulldogs hit three more threes in the second quarter to keep things interesting, but St. James was able to carry a 40-35 lead into the half.
The third quarter mirrored the second, as St. James kept humming on offense, but couldn't quite put Dixon away. Furhing, Carter Keeney and Tyler Recker each scored five or more points in the third quarter, but Dixon kept pace by connecting with three more threes. The Tigers had a slight edge on Dixon in the quarter, extending their lead to 58-50 heading into the final frame.
Both teams took things to the next level on the offensive end thanks to repeated trips to the free throw line. St. James was a perfect 13-13 from the charity stripe in the four quarter, while Dixon was a perfect 8-8. Dixon added four more threes, bringing their total on the game to 13, but St. James stayed out in front with 14 points from the field on top of their 13 free throws. Fuhring scored eight points in the fourth, six of which came from the charity stripe, Bailey Terrill added another seven and Recker chipped in another six as St. James ran away with an 85-70 win.
The Tigers had a stellar offensive game all around with four players in double figures. Furhing led the way with 26 points and fell just shy of a double-double with nine rebounds, while adding two blocks. Harlan was right behind him in the point column with 25 points in the victory. Recker added 15 points, while Terrill scored 10, seven of which came in the final quarter.
St. James will have the rest of 2017 off, as they will not take part in a holiday tournament this week. The Tigers will host New Haven for a Four Rivers Conference game for their first contest of the new year on Friday, Jan. 5.