Jared Wurst of St. John's goes up for a shot on Saturday against Perry. He led the team with 23 points in the Jays home opener. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
Jared Wurst of St. John's goes up for a shot on Saturday against Perry. He led the team with 23 points in the Jays home opener. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)

DELPHOS — St. John’s started their season on a positive note Saturday when they defeated the Commodores in the season opener. Jared Wurst led the Jays with 23 points as they marched to a 52-44 win over Perry.

The Commodores jumped out to a six point lead within the first minute of the game and caught St. John’s on their heels. Jamal Whiteside of Perry was the go-to guy early and helped his team extend their lead to eight before a three by Wurst got the Jays rolling.

St. John’s continued to battle in the opening quarter and tied the game on a shot by Issac Fairchild. Things remained knotted-up as they moved on to the second quarter. The Jays poured it on early and led by as many as eight before the half. Wurst continued his impressive performance and nailed three triples in a row as St. John’s headed to halftime with a 29-22 advantage.

Perry entered the second half with more intensity and slowed St. John’s momentum. They cut the Blue Jay lead to four and looked for a spark midway through the third but great shooting from the foul line gave them an eight point cushion heading into the final quarter.

A three early in the fourth by Whiteside and another by Chazz Jackson helped Perry come back and tie the game at 40-40. Wurst had a steal and took it coast-to-coast to give the Jays the lead once again with 4:00 left in the game. Brady Parrish connected on two straight shots to give St. John’s a 50-44 advantage with 1:08 remaining.

After a turnover, the Commodores were forced to foul and sent Lucas Metcalfe to the line where he went 2-for-2 and sealed the game for the Blue Jays.

“Wurst is a four year player and at some point in the game of basketball you need to have a player that is going to make the tough play and Wurst did that for us tonight,” said St. John’s head coach Aaron Elwer. “Our guys did a good job staying in the gaps and we had opportunities to pounce on the ball. On defense we try to create as much havoc as we can and disrupt the flow of the opposing team. Whiteside is a great player and we did a good job keeping him in check.”

St. John’s will play USV on Tuesday.

Perry 44

Brayden Knight 1-1 0-0 2 2, Chazz Jackson 3-7 0-2 8, Malique Cooper 1-1 0-0, Louis Hoersten 1-6 1-2 3, Jamal Whiteside 7-17 0-0 15, Ryan Yingst 1-2 4-5 6, Will Knight 1-4 0-0 3, Martell White 0-3 0-0 0, Total 17-41 5-7 44

St. John’s 52

Tyler Ruda 0-2 0-0 0, Lucas Metcalfe 1-9 4-5 6, Curtis Schwinnen 5-6 0-1 10, Jared Wurst 8-19 4-4 23, Brady Parrish 1-5 4-6 6, Aiden Rode 1-3 0-0 2, Isaac Fairchild 1-4 1-1 3, Grant Csukker 0-3 2-2 2, Total 17-51 15-19 52

Score by Quarter

Perry 12 10 10 12 - 44

St. John’s 12 17 11 12 - 52