May 20, 2022 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Cook surpasses 1,000 career points

Before the St. Joseph-Ogden girls’ basketball teams plays Monday night for a shot to reach the state tournament, facing Chicago Christian at 7:30 p.m. in the Class 2A Pontiac Super-Sectional, here’s a roundup of other SJO winter sports:

In boys’ basketball
The regular season ended on Friday night for the St. Joseph-Ogden High School boys’ basketball team with a close 58-55 loss at home to Bloomington Central Catholic.


The setback meant the Spartans (19-9, 8-1 Illini Prairie Conference) finished second in the league standings behind BCC.

Jack Cook surpassed 1,000 career points in the game as the senior forward led SJO with a game-high 25 points. Chance Izard and Joel Orcutt each added 12 points in a close game throughout. BCC led 19-16 at the end of the first quarter and the game was tied at 29 heading into halftime before SJO trailed 47-42 entering the fourth quarter.


Keanen Swanson (four points) and Payton Cain (two points) rounded out the scoring for the Spartans.


SJO gets back in action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in a Class 2A Heritage Regional semifinal game. The Spartans, the top seed in the regional, will face either No. 7 Tuscola or No. 10 Georgetown-Ridge Farm. Those two teams are set to play at 6 p.m. on Monday in a regional quarterfinal game.

In wrestling
Two St. Joseph-Ogden High School wrestlers finished their seasons on the biggest stage possible.


Sophomore AJ Wagner compiled a 1-2 record at 106 pounds during the Class 1A state meet at State Farm Center in Champaign, while senior Jake Wendling went 0-2 at 120 pounds.


Wagner started off his stay at state with a 7-0 loss against Billy Tay from Ridgeview/Lexington, the eventual third-place finisher in their weight class.
Wagner responded with a 5-4 win against Alex Armira of Chicago Hope in his first wrestleback match, but saw his season come to a close with an 8-3 loss against Jaxson Roberts of Herscher. Wagner finished the season with a 44-9 record.


Wendling started his state meet with an 18-2 technical fall loss to Gabe Spencer from Heyworth. No shame, though, since Spencer capped off an undefeated 49-0 season with a state title. Wendling then went into the wrestlebacks, where he suffered a close 11-8 loss to Bobby Mann from Reed-Custer to end his season and SJO career.


Wendling, who injured his knee early in the season and wasn’t sure if he would even have the chance to wrestle in the postseason, finished the season with an 11-5 record that included a regional title.

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