February 8, 2023 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Nonconference success continues for SJO boys’ basketball; showdown with
Prairie Central up next

The first Illini Prairie Conference game didn’t end how the St. Joseph-Ogden High School boys’
basketball team wanted it to.


But nonconference play continues to find more positives. And if the Spartans can carry their
nonconference success into their next Illini Prairie game, then SJO really will be clicking.


The Spartans won 76-54 at Maroa-Forsyth on Saturday night and defeated Teutopolis 53-40 this
past Tuesday night at home. Those two nonconference wins sandwiched a 75-61 loss at
Pontiac this past Friday night in SJO’s first Illini Prairie game of the season.


Here’s a roundup of what transpired last week with the Spartans and what’s ahead:


Balance rules in Maroa-Forsyth win
Four SJO players reached double figures in Saturday night’s win and a fifth nearly did.
Senior guard Ty Pence scored a team-high 16 points, but also grabbed nine rebounds and
handed out six assists in leading the Spartans.


Junior guard Logan Smith scored 15 points and had five rebounds, while junior guard Tanner

Jacob also scored 15 points by making 6 of 8 shots from the field, including 2 of 4 from three-
point range.

Sophomore guard Tanner Siems (10 points, six rebounds) and sophomore guard Coy Taylor
(nine points) were also steady offensive contributors in the 22-point win.


Senior guard McGwire Atwood (four points, five rebounds), junior forward Caleb Ochs (four
points) and sophomore forward Logan Lackey (three points) also hit the scoring column for
SJO.


Shooting struggles in loss at Pontiac
Pence scored a team-high 26 points, but had to work more for them after only going 9 of 24
from the field.


All told, SJO only shot 25 of 63 (39) percent from the field at Pontiac in ending a brief two-game
win streak.


Smith added 17 points and seven rebounds for SJO, while Siems chipped in nine points.
Jacob (five points), Taylor (two points) and sophomore forward Kendrick Johnson (two points)
were the only other Spartans to score.


SJO defeats Wooden Shoes in signature win
Even after SJO and Teutopolis met last Tuesday night in St. Joseph, the two programs still
found themselves ranked in the Associated Press Class 2A poll that was released last
Wednesday, with SJO at No. 6 and the Wooden Shoes at No. 10.


Making the Spartans’ win against Teutopolis even more impressive.
Pence scored 26 points and made 11 of 12 free throws to spark the Spartans. Pence also made
six steals and grabbed four rebounds.


Smith also had success at the free throw line, making all seven of his attempts there, and
finished with 17 points. He also added five rebounds.


Taylor (six points, five rebounds), Jacob (two points, six rebounds) and Atwood (two points, five
rebounds) also chipped in during the victory.


What’s next
The Spartans will host Prairie Central at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a showdown of two state-ranked
teams. Prairie Central was No. 2 in the 2A AP poll last week after finding itself No. 1 in the
previous week’s AP poll.


After Tuesday night, SJO will hit the road to play at Chillicothe IVC at 7 p.m. Friday in another
Illini Prairie game. The Spartans will again have a Friday-Saturday doubleheader this week, with
Effingham St. Anthony visiting for a 5:30 p.m. tip on Saturday at SJO.

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