The trip to the consolation game went to St. James in a battle of Four Rivers Conference rivals.
St. James (1-1) sent St. Clair (1-3) into the seventh-place game of Sullivan’s FCNB Bank-It Tournament Wednesday with a 43-38 victory in the consolation semifinals. Salem then edged St. Clair, 49-48, in the seventh-place game Thursday.
St. James led 20-16 after one quarter and widened that lead in the second period, carrying a 34-23 advantage into the intermission.
St. Clair held St. James below 10 points in the third quarter while cutting that lead to 10, but still trailed, 43-38, going into the final period.
Kamalei Bursey led St. Clair with 12 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Calvin Henry also reached double digits with 11 points while also dishing out five assists.
“We played pretty good on the offensive side of the court,” St. Clair Head Coach Tim Isgrig said. “Twelve turnovers is too many, but with the way St. James pressures the ball we ran some good offense. Kamalei did a good job attacking the basket and Calvin took care of the ball. He played almost every minute and had zero turnovers.”
Michael Hughes and Tyler Stark chipped in eight points each.
Hughes added eight rebounds and one blocked shot.
Tyler Stark pulled down four rebounds with three assists and one steal.
Pepper Stark scored four points with five rebounds and four assists.
Justin Hoffman contributed three points and two assists.
Timmy Hoffman added two points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Johnny Kindel and Peyton Purcell scored two points each. Kindel was credited with one assist.
Andrew Branson was the chief scoring option for St. James, finishing the night with 17 points. He also picked up eight rebounds with five assists, one steal and two blocked shots.
Branson was one of three Tigers to get into double figures, joined by Austin Ridenhour with 12 points and Tyler Recker with 10.
Drew Moritz and Logan Chick were next for St. James with eight points each.
Isaac Helterbrand added four points and Mason Parker and Tate Whitener netted two points each.
A different set of Tigers again got the better of St. Clair in the Bulldogs’ final game of the tournament.
For the second year in a row, the two teams met in the tournament’s final round, and for the second year in a row seventh place went to Salem.
Salem held a scant 14-12 lead after one quarter and gained another two points on the Bulldogs in the second period, leading 27-23 at halftime.
The Tigers held the lead at four points after three quarters.
“We competed at a high level and battled,” Isgrig said. “We did a pretty good job defending their size inside. Michael Hughes played a really good game for us. He had to guard their 6-7 and 6-6 kid and battled all night. He competes every night and had 11 rebounds tonight and hit the game-tying shot with 40 seconds left.”
Salem pulled back ahead from the free-throw line with 1.6 seconds left and held on for the win.
Tyler Stark led the St. Clair scoresheet with 15 points. He pulled down two rebounds with two assists and one steal.
Justin Hoffman notched nine points, one assist and one steal.
“Tyler Stark attacked the basket on offense,” Isgrig said. “He led us in scoring and played much more under control. Justin Hoffman made some big shots for us late. He’s working hard every day and always wants to get in the gym and get shots up.”
Hughes put through six points with 11 rebounds, one assist and two steals.
Timmy Hoffman scored four points with six rebounds, one assist and two steals.
Pepper Stark added four points, four assists, one rebound and one steal.
Bursey scored three points and picked up five rebounds and two steals.
Henry dished out three assists.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a road game at Potosi Friday at 7 p.m.