January 27, 2022 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Seven and counting: Pence, Ingram lead way as SJO boys’ basketball stays undefeated

High-scoring wins have materialized for the St. Joseph-Ogden High School boys’ basketball team so far this season.


Whether it’s on the Spartans’ home court in St. Joseph or at any other gym in the state.

SJO maintained its unbeaten start with two convincing nonconference road wins last week, defeating Casey-Westfield 67-44 on Saturday and knocking off Hoopeston Area 75-46 last Tuesday night.

SJO (7-0) will face arguably its toughest test this season, though, on Tuesday night when the Spartans travel to play at Danville (5-1) in non-conference action.

Ty Pence continued his early-season dominance, with the Division I recruit pouring in a game-high 30 points in Saturday’s win against Casey-Westfield. Evan Ingram joined him in double figures, narrowly missing out on a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. Coy Taylor also contributed with 10 points as SJO led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter, took a 32-17 lead into halftime and opened the fourth quarter with a 49-33 advantage.

Andrew Beyers and Hayden Brazelton each chipped in four points, while Logan Smith (three points), Luke Landrus (two points) and Caleb Ochs (two points) also hit the scoring column.

The Spartans had little difficulty getting past Hoopeston Area, taking a 19-10 lead into the second quarter and a 40-24 advantage into halftime before starting the fourth quarter with a comfortable 63-33 lead.

Pence was one of three Spartans to finish in double figures with a game-high 18 points. Smith complimented Pence with 15 points and Ingram added 11 points.

Taylor produced eight points and Tanner Jacob chipped in six points, while Beyers (five points), Landrus (three points), Brock Trimble (three points), Colin Wayland (two points) and Maddux Carter (two points) also got in on the fun.

After SJO plays at Danville on Tuesday night, the Spartans have a full week before its next game on Dec. 21 at home against Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin.

Then, the Spartans will turn their attention to the State Farm Holiday Classic, with pairings for the 16-team small-school tournament recently unveiled. SJO garnered the No. 2 seed and will open tournament play at 10:30 a.m. against Tri-Valley on Dec. 27 at Normal West High School.

The Spartans would then play either No. 7 Quincy Notre Dame or No. 10 Rock Falls on Dec. 28 at the Shirk Center on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. If SJO beats Tri-Valley, the Spartans would play at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinals and if they lose to Tri-Valley, they’d play at 11 a.m. in the consolation quarterfinals.

The championship game is set for 5:15 p.m. on Dec. 30.

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