The Saints basektball team was busy this last week with three games, all of them away from home. The road trip started in New Ulm on last Thursday. This was the second meeting of these two teams, in the first showdown the Saints were able to walk away with a 68-53 victory. On Thursday it seemed to be much of the same, St. James held a 11 point lead at the halftime break.
The Saints were able to hold off New Ulm in the second half and won the game 60-46. The Saints struggled from the field, shooting 37 percent from the floor compared to 43 percent by New Ulm. Defense is what won the Saints this basketball game. “We had an excellent defensive effort against New Ulm. They had been playing much better lately, including a win at St. Peter last week, so to be able to get an early lead and hold on to the whole game was nice to see,” said coach Alex Hein. The Saints were able to force 23 New Ulm turnovers.
Brady Stevens lead the way with another double double, notching 17 points and 11 rebounds. Lucas Fredin chipped in with 11 points. Sophomores Jadon Malmgren-Diaz and Lee Hillesheim also got their first varsity action of the year.
Next up on the schedule was Fulda on Friday. Once again the Saints played a strong first half and were able to jump out to a 43-31 lead at the break.
In the second half the Saints struggled a little offensively, but they were able to hold off Fulda winning by a final score of 74-60. Stevens led the team once again with 20 points and also snagging an incredible 16 rebounds. Sandin Skow also filled up the statsheet with 14 points, 6 assists, and 12 rebounds.
The Saint’s last game of the week was on Tuesday in Fairmont. St. James looked to exact some revenge from a 64-51 loss to Fairmont earlier in the season.
In a defensive battle St. James trailed Fairmont 27-32 at halftime. The Saints battled in the second half but were unable to take the lead, and lost by a final of 47-55.
“Tough loss Tuesday night at Fairmont. We battled with them and actually executed our game plan well. We played excellent defense, only allowing 55 points, but we shot poorly, 31%. I like the direction that we are going though. We will rebound from this,” said Hien.
St. James is now 7-8 and currently sitting in the 5th position in the section. If the season were to end today the Saintw would be travelling to Fairmont for their first playoff game.
For more information please see the February 2 print edition of the St. James Plaindealer.