March 3, 2024 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

SJO girls’ basketball to host inaugural Country Financial Shootout on Saturday

The Christie Clinic Shootout has become an annual staple on the high school basketball calendar in St. Joseph.


Same for the Toyota of Danville Classic, previously the Leader Classic.


But both of those events are related to boys’ basketball.

Yet something different on the calendar will transpire this Saturday at SJO, with the inaugural Country Financial Shootout bringing in eight different teams from across the state for a one-day event.


SJO will host Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at 4 p.m. in the third of four games on the day. The event tips off at 1 p.m. when Breese Central meets Pleasant Plains before Richland County plays Fieldcrest at 2:30 p.m. After SJO-ALAH ends, Mahomet-Seymour against Eureka starts at 5:30 p.m. to conclude the event.

The game against ALAH is another challenging one on the nonconference slate for SJO in a season that has already seen its fair share. The Spartans (2-5) are on a three-game losing streak heading into Thursday’s 6 p.m. home nonconference game against Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin.


SJO lost 68-26 at Peoria Richwoods on Monday night, falling behind 20-7 at the end of the first quarter and trailing 44-15 to star the second half. Senior forward Addy Martinie led SJO with 10 points, senior guard Addison Frick had five points, junior forward Sara Kearney had four points, sophomore guard Katie Erickson had four points, sophomore forward Katie Beyers had two points and sophomore guard Timera Blackburn-Kelley rounded out the scoring with one point.


Prior to the loss at Peoria Richwoods, SJO hung close with perennial power Teutopolis, but the Wooden Shoes left St. Joseph with a 59-50 victory last Thursday night.

The Spartans trailed 14-11 at the end of the first quarter, 32-28 at halftime and 43-42 to start the fourth quarter. Frick scored a team-high 18 points to lead the Spartans, while Martinie wasn’t far behind with 17 points. Senior Addison Seggebruch contributed eight points, while Ericksen (five points) and Kearney (two points) also chipped in.


The losing skid started for SJO with a 75-63 loss at Maroa-Forsyth on Dec. 4. The Spartans led the Trojans 59-56 to start the fourth quarter after going into halftime with a 40-37 lead, but couldn’t keep up the offensive production during the final eight minutes.


Martinie scored a team-high 17 points, Kearney contributed 16 points and Frick supplied 12 points, all on four three-pointers. Ericksen made it four SJO players in double figures with 11 points as Blackburn-Kelley (four points) and sophomore guard Addison Brooks (three points) rounded out the scoring.

The last win for SJO happened on Nov. 30, with the Spartans going on the road and winning 57-32 at Danville. The Spartans jumped out to a 22-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, increased it to 37-10 at halftime and went into the fourth quarter ahead 48-20. Martinie dropped in a game-high 18 points, with Frick providing a steady complement with 17 points. Brooks contributed nine points on a trio of three-pointers, while Ericksen (five points), sophomore forward Kayla Osterbur (four points), Kearney (two points) and Blackburn-Kelley (two points) also pitched in.


The win against Danville materialized after SJO recorded its first victory of the season, beating Tuscola 61-47 at home on Nov. 27.


The Spartans started strong, taking an 18-11 lead into the second quarter and holding a 31-19 advantage at halftime before expanding it even more to 51-33 by the start of the fourth quarter. Seggebruch scored a team-high 14 points for SJO as Martinie had 12 points, Frick added 10 points, Ericksen scored nine points and Kearney ended with eight points on a balanced scoring night. Brooks finished with six points and sophomore forward McKenzie Atwood joined the offensive fun with two points.


After this week’s slate of games, the Spartans will play at Cissna Park at 7:30 p.m. next Monday before hosting Oakwood at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 21. Those two nonconference games lead into the State Farm Holiday Classic that SJO will play in Dec. 27-30 in Bloomington-Normal. The Spartans open up the 16-team State Farm Holiday Classic with a first-round game against Kankakee Bishop McNamara at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 27 at Normal Community High School.

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