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

Wells, defense shine as balanced SJO girls’ basketball team wins regional title

The high school girls’ basketball season has taken St. Joseph-Ogden High School all across the state of Illinois.

With plenty of wins to follow for the Spartans during the past three months.

The latest road trip — and most important one of the season — SJO will take will see the program travel north on Interstate 57 on Tuesday. With a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line.

SJO (23-7) will face Prairie Central (24-8) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in a Class 2A Peotone Sectional semifinal game. If the Spartans can beat the Hawks — they already own a 69-48 win against Prairie Central back on Jan. 10 in St. Joseph — then SJO will advance to play either Fieldcrest (31-2) or Paxton-Buckley-Loda (12-17) at 7 p.m. on Thursday in a sectional championship game in Peotone.

The latest game to transpire for SJO is taking place after another superb performance by the Spartans allowed them to celebrate a 2A regional championship this past Friday night. SJO easily defeated Kankakee Bishop McNamara 51-17 on Bishop McNamara’s home court, sealing the 18th regional title in program history and fourth in the last five seasons.

Defense propelled the Spartans past the Fighting Irish, with SJO holding Bishop McNamara scoreless in the first quarter to take an 11-0 lead. The Spartans’ offense picked up production in the second quarter, taking a convincing 33-7 lead into halftime and then holding a 49-15 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Balanced offense once again paced the Spartans in their regional title win.
Taylor Wells scored a game-high 10 points for SJO, with Payton Jacob not far behind with nine points. Ella Armstrong and Peyton Jones each supplied eight points, while Addison Frick tallied seven points and Ashlyn Lannert chipped in five points.
Alyssa Hamilton and Alison Kearney also got in on the offensive fun, each scoring two points apiece.

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