After a loss on a late comeback, St. Clair boys basketball continues to search for its first win of the season.
The Bulldogs dropped to 0-2 to open the season Monday, suffering a 58-55 loss at the hands of Potosi (1-0) in pool play at the Sullivan Tournament.
“We played really hard and competed,” Head Coach Tim Isgrig said. “I loved our fight in the third quarter. We have a lot of things to fix, but I was happy with the way the kids made in-game adjustments. We aren’t shooting the ball like we are capable of but we ran some really good offense at times. The second half our defense was good. We helped each other better and did a better job taking away Potosi’s strengths.”
St. Clair, seeded fourth in the tournament, trailed 16-15 at the end of the first quarter and 34-26 at halftime after the fifth-seeded Trojans took advantage of some early foul trouble for the Bulldogs.
In the third quarter, St. Clair came surging back, holding Potosi to just six points while taking a 43-40 advantage into the final quarter.
The Bulldogs built the lead up to six points before Potosi got a nine-point swing in the final minutes.
“We had the game in our control, up six with two minutes left, we have to be able to put the game away,” Isgrig said. “We have to make better decisions late in the game both offensively and defensively.”
Junior guard Noah Richardson led the Bulldogs in scoring with 23 points.
“Noah played a really good game for us offensively reading their zone and finding openings,” Isgrig said. “He’s improving every night and is real coachable right now. He led us with 23 and scored in a variety of ways.”
Senior guard Jayce Decker was the only other Bulldog to get into double-digit scoring, finishing the game with 10 points.
Mike Hughes put up two points and led the team with five rebounds.
“Hughes played a really good game for us especially defensively,” Isgrig said. “Mike is a high IQ player and the ultimate teammate. He is willing to sacrifice for others and was a big reason for our third quarter success.”
Pepper Stark put up five points with four rebounds and was another key component of the Bulldogs’ third quarter run.
“Pepper Stark gave us a big boost in the third quarter,” Isgrig said. “It’s his job to guard the other team’s best player every night and he plays with a lot of pride. His energy brought us back into the game in the second half.”
Kamalei Bursey scored seven points and grabbed four rebounds.
Other Bulldogs scoerers included TJ Griffith and Tyler Stark with three points each and Clay Banderman with two points.
“We had a lot of players give us good minutes and we are going to grow every night and keep getting better,” Isgrig said.
The Bulldogs wrap up pool play at the tournament Thursday, taking on the host school at 7:30 p.m.