Playing in the Illini Prairie Conference means the St. Joseph-Ogden girls’ basketball team will get tested during conference games each season.
But the Spartans, like they’ve done in years past, also play a quality nonconference schedule. Coach Drew Arteaga’s program got its first tests of the season this past week and while SJO is still vying for its first win, they have to be encouraged despite two close nonconference losses.
SJO opened the season on Nov. 18 with a 48-41 home loss to Pleasant Plains and followed that up with a 44-38 overtime home loss to Paris three days later this past Tuesday.
SJO (0-2) trailed 18-14 at the end of the first quarter, 28-23 at halftime and 38-30 to start the fourth quarter against Pleasant Plains (3-2).
Senior guard Addison Frick paced SJO with a team-high 15 points and drained a trio of three-pointers. Senior forward Addy Martinie joined Frick in double figures with 10 points, while senior guard Addison Seggebruch wasn’t far behind with eight points.
Sophomore guard Katie Ericksen (four points), sophomore guard Addison Brooks (three points) and sophomore guard Timera Blackburn-Kelley (one point) rounded out the scoring for the Spartans.
The Spartans trailed Paris 9-6 at the end of the first quarter and 16-15 at halftime before going ahead 32-30 to start the fourth quarter. Regulation ended with the game tied at 37, but SJO could only muster one free throw from Martinie in the overtime period.
Ericksen led all scorers with 12 points — all in the second half — as Frick tossed in 11 points and Martinie finished with 10 points. Seggebruch (four points) and junior forward Sara Kearney (one point) rounded out the scoring for SJO.
SJO is back at home at 7:30 p.m Monday with another solid nonconference game against Tuscola (4-0). The Spartans will then hit the road to play at Danville at 7 p.m. on Thursday.