Free throws and turnovers were Sullivan’s downfall on Thursday.
Against St. James in the semifinals of the 11th annual Potosi Tournament, Sullivan lost 65-51, falling to their Four Rivers Conference rivals and moved to the third place game against St. Pius.
Sullivan made a strong comeback in the third quarter, erasing a 12-point deficit to trail by just two entering the fourth quarter.
Chris Erxleben’s buzzer beater capped off the period.
But it was a night both teams would probably like to forget. The game was muddied up by a bevy of fouls and turnovers. Neither team was able to play a clean game and it allowed both to put up big runs.
Sullivan had three players with four fouls before the fourth quarter. St. James’ star player Jack Mueller, a lanky forward, played much of the second half with four fouls.
St. James was able to maintain their lead due in part to good free throw shooting. Sullivan finished the first half just 1-9 from the line, leading to a frustrating 28-16 deficit.
But the Eagles were able to gradually chip away at St. James’ lead in the third quarter. After falling behind 35-25, Sullivan engineered a 12-4 run. Erxleben scored Sullivan’s final four points of the quarter, including an incomplete three-point play.
Sullivan was able to make the comeback attempt without Adam Weiland, Seth Mesey or Heath Schatz. Mesey was summoned to the bench after he was called for charging late in the third quarter.
He eventually fouled out with a team-high 16 points.
Sullivan was never able to get any closer than two. St. James went on an 11-2 run to start the fourth quarter and the Eagles were never able to get any closer than seven.
Addison Conway led St. James and all scorers with 19 points. Mueller scored 15.