Four players scored in double figures for the Fairmont Cardinals, as the visitors defeated the Saints 74-58, using an 18-5 run in the second half to pull away from the hosts.
Both teams started slowly in the first five minutes, with the Saints trailing just 6-4 at the 13:00 mark. The pace would quickly intensify, as Fairmont opened up an 11-point lead on the strength of three Wyatt Frank buckets, including two coming off offensive rebounds.
"We said we needed five guys rebounding tonight, unfortunately, we didn't have that all the time," said head coach Spencer Monson. "We put them in tough positions when they were on offense. I think our defense really improved tonight but unfortunately, we couldn't limit those second chances. We have to get better at that."
St. James cut the lead three on buckets by Hayden Jones and Daevon Anderson. Jack Hested and Carter Bell scored before the half to give the Cardinals a 33-26 lead heading into the break.
Jones led all scorers with 12 at half time, including a deep three-pointer, marking his second straight game with a three.
"I know he can do it," said Monson. "He's a very good shooter if you watch him in practice. But he knows we need an inside presence and he's a smart player for that. The more he hits that the more it's going to draw a defender out."
Fairmont came out firing in the second half.
Frank scored on another offensive rebound putback to open the half. Threes from Hested and Bell opened up a 15 point lead, forcing St. James to use a timeout just two minutes into the half.
Later in the half, leading by 12, Fairmont extended their lead to 25, officially putting the game out of reach.
Joey Florhs started the second onslaught with a three-pointer, which was immediately matched by Daevon Anderson. After a Bell score, Dan Betts was able to connect. Hested stole the inbounds pass and scored, pushing the lead to 18. Bell and Hested each hit threes to cap off the 18-5 run.
Derrick Halvorson ended the run with his first basket of the game.
Carter Bell led the Cardinals with 20 points, hitting four threes. Zach Gorgensen scored 15. Wyatt Frank scored 14. Jack Hested scored 11.
Jones led all scorers with 23. Logan Carlson scored 19. Daevon Anderson finished with 9, while Halvorson finished with seven.
The loss drops St. James to 3-4, while Fairmont improves to 4-1.