After dropping their opening match against Nicollet at home, the St. James Area boys basketball teamed looked to bounce back against Maple River on Friday night at the Maple River Tournament.
The boys got the spark they needed from junior guard Logan Carlson. After scoring just six in the frustrating loss in the opener, Carlson connected on eight threes, and finished with 35 points, helping his club edge out the Eagles 77-75.
Carlson's previous career-high was just 13 points.
The Saints led 33-30 at halftime and 69-68 with 3:00 to go. Derrick Halvorson hit a clutch three to push the lead to four.
With 1:22 left, Michael Suarez grabbed an offensive rebound and putback to make it a 74-66 game. The timely score was Suarez's only basket on the night. Maple River scored five straight points to cut the lead to 74-73 with 18.8 left.
Carlson was fouled and hit both free throws. Maple River answered with 5.4 seconds left and fouled Carlson once again. This time, Carlson went just 1/2 giving Maple River an opportunity. The last-second shot by the Eagles missed, and the Saints survived.
Halvorson scored 19 points while sophomore Hayden Jones tallied 16. Daevon Anderson scored five.
Ethan McGregor tallied 16 to lead the charge for Maple River. Lucas Doering scored 15.
The win over Maple River put the Saints in the tournament championship game against powerhouse Cannon Falls.
In the championship game, four players scored in double figures for the Bombers, led Luke Sjoquist's 31, en route to an 89-62.
The Saints led early 11-6, but a 26-5 run buried the Saints before halftime.
The trio of Carlson (16 points), Halvorson (17 points) and Jones (23 points) combined for 56 of the Saints' 62 points.
Carlson and Jones were both named to the all-tournament team. Carlson hit 11 threes overall in the tournament, breaking the record set by Jalen Suggs from Minnehaha Academy, a consensus five-star recruit in the class of 2020, fielding offers from major blue blood college programs.
On Tuesday, the Saints returned to the win column with a 90-74 victory over Madelia.
Once again, Carlson (23 points), Halvorson (22 points), and Jones (29) led the way, each scoring over 20 points. Carlson and Halvorson each connected on five threes. Daevon Anderson chipped in with eight.
JaSean Glover scored 27, Kurt Lugo scored 16, and Kadin Benzel had 15.