The St. James boys basketball team opened the Hermann Tournament against Warrenton on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The Tiger offense exploded after a sluggish start on the way to an 87-64 win.
St. James struggled to get into an offensive rhythm in the first, but five point quarters from both Austin Ridenhour and Tyler Recker kept the Tigers afloat. Warrenton punched back with a flurry of threes, knocking down four shots from long range to take a 17-16 lead into the second quarter.
The scoring for both teams picked up in the second with the Tigers getting hot from behind the arc. Logan Chick led the way with eight points after hitting a pair of threes. Recker added two more threes in the quarter, while Mason Parker also connected from deep. The Tigers scored 23 points in the quarter, but couldn't slow down Warrenton, who managed to score 20 points in the quarter. Despite a rough defensive quarter, the Tigers were able to carry a 39-37 lead into the half.
After halftime, St. James took the game over. The Tigers did a lot of their damage from the free throw line in the third quarter, going a perfect 9-9 from the charity stripe. Andrew Branson knocked down six of those free throws to lead the Tigers, while Recker and Chick each added four in a 22-point quarter. St. James also picked things up on the defensive end, holding Warrenton to just 12 points in the quarter to extend their lead out to 61-49 heading into the fourth.
The Tigers out the game away with another strong quarter in the fourth. Defensively, St. James held Warrenton to 15 points. The Tigers also kept their offensive momentum rolling on the back of Ridenhour, who knocked down a trio of threes in an 11-point quarter. St. James was also 11-16 from the free throw line in the quarter as they finished off an 87-64 win.
"We started a little slow, but came out strong defensively in the second half and did a much better job of limiting their best player to tough looks," said head coach Ben Smith on the win. "We were very balanced offensively with five guys in double figures."
Recker led the Tigers with 19 points in the win, while Ridenhour added 18 and Branson scored 17. Chick chipped in with 14 points and Parker added 11. Tate Whiter scored six points, while Drew Moritz had two in the win.
St. James will play in the semi-final of the tournament on Thursday, Jan. 24, facing off against third-seeded Montgomery County.