The St. James boys basketball team (15-7, 2-2 FRC) hosted Owensville on Wednesday, Feb. 7, while the girls (12-11, 3-2 FRC) traveled to Sullivan on Thursday. The boys were able beat Dutchmen 67-56, before the girls fell 53-30.
The Tigers played a tough first half against Owensville on Wednesday, as they couldn't stretch out a comfortable lead early. St. James led 18-12 through the opening quarter, but Owensville won the second to cut the gap to 33-28 at the half.
The third quarter is where things got a little messy for the Tigers. Owensville opened the third on a 10-5 run to take tie up the game at 38 mid-way through the quarter and head coach Ben Smith decided to make a change. Smith subbed out his entire lineup for five JV players hoping to provide a spark. Owensville took a brief 40-38 lead, but the St. James JV managed to outscore the Dutchmen 10-8 through the rest of the quarter to carry a slim 48-46 lead into the final quarter.
The Tiger starters returned to the court in the fourth and got exactly the spark they needed, winning the quarter 19-10 to win the game 67-56.
Carter Keeney had a great all-around game for St. James with 17 points, nine assists and five offensive rebounds. Ryan Harlan knocked down four threes on his way to 16 points, while Bailey Terrill added seven points and nine rebounds. Ivan Fuhring chipped in another nine points.
The Lady Tigers didn't have the same luck on Thursday night. St. James hung around early on, only trailing 10-8 through the opening quarter, but were doomed by a rough start to the second. St. James went behind 26-13 at the half and couldn't recover.
The slow start led to more problems in the second half. Sullivan won the second quarter 14-6 to put the game out of reach, before finishing off a 53-30 win with a 13-point fourth quarter.
We were able to keep it close early. Had a rough stretch at the end of the first quarter and the majority of the second quarter in which Sullivan went on a 13-0 run that pretty much spelled doom for us," said head coach Terry Wells. " During that time we missed three easy lay-ups and missed four free throws. Against a team like Sullivan you can't let those opportunities pass and expect to compete."
Coach Wells said that 13-0 run threw their defense out of whack, which made a comeback much more difficult.
"I felt like once we got down a bit our defense struggled with its focus," said the St. James girls head coach. "We allowed their best three players to score all but six of their points, which isn't a characteristic of a good defense. My kids played hard however and competed and we can learn from playing Sullivan just how sharp we need to be to upset a really good team."
Alyssa Rinehart and Mikaela Donnelly each scored six points in the loss, while Ashlyn Rinehart added another five. Bailey Wells scored four points to go with four steals and four assists. Riley Whitener added four points and Quin Paulus chipped in with three. Savanna Riccetti had two points, five boards and four assists.
The Lady Tiger JV also fell 43-37. Macy Terrill scored 11 points to lead St. James, while Audrey Marcee added another seven.
The Tigers followed the girls with a trip to Sullivan on Friday, Feb. 9, but results weren't available at press time. Both teams will face off against Hermann next week with the girls traveling there on Monday, Feb. 12 and the boys playing there on Tuesday.