After a close first half against New Ulm on Friday night, the St. James boys saw a chance to pick up their sixth win of the season go by the wayside, falling to the Eagles 90-68.
The Saints trailed 17-10 with 12:00 left in the first half. A pair of Logan Carlson threes cut the lead down to one.
Later in the half, a Derrick Halvorson three put the Saints up 29-28.
With under two minutes left in the period, New Ulm went on a 7-0 run, taking a 38-35 lead heading into the break.
Reece Melby single-handedly kept the Eagles alive, with 24 points in the first half.
Ahead 51-46 five minutes into the half, the Eagles nailed a trio of three-pointers, pushing their lead to 60-47, as Charlie Osborne provided two devastating blows from deep.
Osborne tallied 12 of his 17 points in the second half.
Despite best efforts from Carlson, Halvorson, and Hayden Jones, the hosts slowly pulled away for a 22-point victory.
Carlson led the Saints with 22 points. Halvorson had 20. Jones scored 14.
Melby finished with a game-high 36 points.
On Tuesday against Blue Earth, St. James celebrated senior night, but the Bucs shot out to a 14-6 lead and never looked back, leaving the Event Center with a 72-58 win, and sweeping the two-game season set.
Blue Earth's defense limited St. James' opportunities both inside and out. Junior center Sam Keister turned away two Hayden Jones layups early and provided solid rim protection all night. Junior guard Austin Thiefoldt hounded Logan Carlson all game long.
"We're getting used to Logan getting pressured like that," said head coach Spencer Monson. "Part of the problem tonight was we haven't been hitting open shots tonight the way we have the last few games."
Blue Earth saw it's lead swell to as large as 12 in the first half, but a score from Steven Balbuena and a trey from Carlson cut into the deficit.
The Bucs took an eight-point lead into the break, only to see their lead swell to 16 in the opening minutes of the second frame before a Hayden Jones score finally put the Saints on the board.
A 12-0 run extended the lead to 23 with under nine minutes left in regulation. St. James eventually whittled the lead down to ten, but the push was too little too late for the hosts.
The 2019-2020 season has been a fall from grace for Monson and his program. A year after making the section final, the Saints could very well wind up with 20 losses on the regular season.
"We graduated a lot of guys and, in the area, teams didn't graduate a lot," said Monson. "Experience plays a big role in wins and losses on the court. I have been happy with the growth I've seen out of this team. We are competing every night. There hasn't been a game where I really felt like it wasn't close. We've competed really well."
Seniors Derrick Halvorson and Daevon Anderson played roles on that team a year ago.
"You have to fight through change and step up," said Halvorson. "Last year we were juniors and this year we're two seniors so we had to step up and lead the team."
"Just know your role," said Anderson. "Your role and job have changed so you have to adapt to it."
The loss marked the final time the Saints will play on their homecourt this year, as the end of the line comes for the seven seniors on the roster.
"They're all important," said Monson. "They're good kids and we don't have to worry about them off the court. They're good role models for younger players. We're going to miss them after this year."
"It's been fun," said Halvorson. "We've had crowds where it's been packed and crowds where there's barely anybody here but every time it's been fun."
Cameron Anderson led all scorers with 20 points. Austin Thiefoldt scored 16. Braden Gudahl scored 14 off the bench.
Carlson and Jones led St. James with 17 and 18 hard-earned points, respectively. Halvorson finished with ten.
St. James plays in their season finale on Thursday against ML/GHEC/T/.