St. Clair jumped to an early lead and held off Sullivan down the stretch in a boys basketball contest Friday night.
The Bulldogs (9-10) held the lead throughout the game in a 51-47 victory at Sullivan High School.
“It was a great game with a great atmosphere. Both teams competed hard,” said St. Clair Head Coach Casey Korn. “We didn’t seal it with free throws, which is an area we need to improve. But our effort and the will to compete was there all night. I was really proud of our guys.”
St. Clair and St. James (20-1) are the two remaining unbeaten teams in Four Rivers Conference play with 3-0 records.
The Bulldogs host the Tigers Friday with a 6 p.m. junior varsity start.
In the meantime, St. Clair played Tuesday at Union (4-13, 0-3).
Korn said the Bulldogs need to focus on playing against Union before thinking about a showdown with St. James.
“We’re excited about this week. I have heard a lot about Friday’s game, but I will not even think about St. James until after Union,” Korn said. “We get to go play another rival on the road. Our schools are less than 15 minutes apart. They are a team that continues to improve, like I believe we are. I understand if we can take care of business, Friday’s game will be large. But if we start to look ahead, then we will underestimate a very good opponent.”
Neyko Dominguez led St. Clair in the scoring column against Sullivan with 20 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists. He was 9-11 shooting from the field.
Evan Murphy finished the game with 12 points and six rebounds. He was 5-7 from the field.
Adam Brott collected seven points, 13 rebounds and three steals.
Reno Jones added seven points on 3-4 shooting.
Austin Gotway registered three points and five assists.
Ben Feddersen had two points, six blocks and two rebounds.
Evan Powell added two rebounds. Brandon York missed his second straight game with a shoulder injury.
Sullivan’s scoring was not available at press time.
St. Clair held a 10-2 lead in the early minutes and a 18-10 advantage after one quarter.
Sullivan (13-7, 2-1) outscored St. Clair 16-10 in the second quarter, cutting the Bulldogs’ lead at halftime to 28-26.
“We came out early and executed on offense,” Korn said. “In the first half, we allowed them to get into the paint and score. Both teams shot over 60 percent in the first half.”
The Bulldogs got things going again in the third quarter, outscoring Sullivan 14-2, to lead 42-28 heading into the final eight minutes.
“In the third quarter, we came out ready to go on both ends of the floor,” Korn said. “We gained a pretty nice advantage, which we needed every bit of.”
While the Eagles rallied in the fourth quarter, St. Clair was able to maintain a four- to seven-point lead during the final minutes of the game.