The play of Ty Pence this season has greatly enhanced the St. Joseph-Ogden boys’ basketball
program. It’s not every season, after all, a Division I recruit suits up for the Spartans.
But even with the Illinois State signee not playing on Saturday against Charleston, the Spartans
still managed a 56-51 nonconference home win against the Trojans.
The latest victory padded SJO’s win streak to five games and has the Spartans on the cusp of
another 20-win season. SJO (19-4, 3-2 Illini Prairie Conference) will have its first crack at a
getting its 20th win when it hosts Bloomington Central Catholic at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Illini Prairie
action. If SJO gets to its 20th win, it would mark the second straight season of such an
accomplishment and 16th time since 2000.
Here’s how SJO fared on the court last week and what’s coming up:
Smith, Taylor and Siems step up big
Three Spartans finished in double figures during Saturday’s win against Charleston, with junior
guard Logan Smith scoring a team-high 18 points to go along with five rebounds, three assists
and two steals.
Sophomore guard Coy Taylor was also instrumental against Charleston — a Class 3A program
— by scoring 15 points and connecting on a pair of three-pointers.
Fellow sophomore guard Tanner Siems also played a big role in the five-point victory for SJO by
dropping in 13 points and grabbing four rebounds. Siems went 4 of 6 from the field, making his
lone three-point attempt and all four of his free throws.
Junior guard Tanner Jacob (six points) and senior guard McGwire Atwood (two points, five
rebounds) rounded out the scoring for the Spartans.
Pence, Smith key win against Monticello
Pence and Smith led the way for SJO in its 66-53 home win against Monticello this past Friday
night in Illini Prairie play.
Pence scored a team-high 23 points to go along with three rebounds, three assists and two
Smith nearly matched Pence’s scoring output, with Smith compiling 20 points, eight rebounds,
five assists and two steals.
Jacob also produced a stellar game by scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds (all
offensive rebounds), while Atwood (seven points), Taylor (three points) and senior guard
Maddux Carter (three points) also made timely buckets.
Defense clamps down in win at STM
In one of its better defensive showings this season, the Spartans easily defeated St. Thomas
More 59-28 last Tuesday night during an Illini Prairie road game in Champaign.
It was the fifth time SJO held an opponent below 30 points, but the first time since defeating
Annawan 78-28 on Dec. 27 in a first-round game at the small-school State Farm Holiday
Pence outscored STM by pouring in a game-high 30 points and making 13 of 23 shots from the
field, including 4 of 9 from three-point range. He added five rebounds, three steals, two blocks
and two assists.
Jacob contributed eight points and three assists, while Smith registered five points, four
rebounds, four assists and two steals. Taylor also contributed five points, three rebounds and
two steals, while Carter had three points.
The quartet of Atwood, Siems, junior forward Caleb Ochs and sophomore guard Collin Thomey
all finished with two points apiece.
After Tuesday night’s home game with Bloomington Central Catholic, the Spartans are off until
Saturday. SJO will play Auburn at 3 p.m. in the Illini Prairie/Sangamo Challenge that is held in
Williamsville. It’s the first of three straight games away from St. Joseph for the Spartans, with
SJO also set to play at Rantoul at 7 p.m. on Feb. 7 in an Illini Prairie game and at Westville at
7:15 p.m. on Feb. 8 in a nonconference game.
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