Needing a big win, the St. Joseph-Ogden High School girls’ basketball team delivered last Thursday night.
The Spartans stopped a two-game losing streak with an impressive 51-44 home win against Prairie Central, denying the visiting Hawks their 20th win in the process.
The Illini Prairie Conference win against Prairie Central happened after a 49-40 loss at league rival Unity last Monday.
Three Spartans hit double figures in the win against Prairie Central, led by a team-high 14 points from sophomore guard Payton Jacob. Senior guard Katie Cramer and senior forward Taylor Barnes also filled key scoring roles by each supplying 12 points.
Cramer sank a trio of three-pointers and Barnes added two three-pointers to give SJO a lift with solid outside shooting. The Spartans trailed the Hawks 11-10 at the end of the first quarter, but took a narrow 21-19 advantage into halftime before holding on to a slim 35-34 lead entering the fourth quarter.
SJO led Unity 14-13 at the end of the first quarter, but trailed 26-23 at halftime and only managed one field goal and two free throws in the third quarter to face a 38-27 deficit going into the fourth quarter.
SJO didn’t have a player reach double-digit scoring against Unity, with sophomore guard Ashlyn Lannert, junior guard Atleigh Hamilton, Cramer and Barnes all finishing with six points. Jacob and sophomore guard Ella Armstrong each added five points.
SJO’s scheduled game at Mattoon this past Saturday was canceled because of inclement weather, with the Spartans set to be back at home on Monday night for a 7 p.m. Illini Prairie game against Monticello.
SJO then hits the road to play at Pontiac at 7 p.m. this upcoming Thursday.