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

Jacob, Smith help SJO boys’ basketball stay unbeaten

It doesn’t seem to matter the team.


Or the location.


All the St. Joseph-Ogden boys’ basketball team is doing through the first two weeks of the season is winning.


The Spartans will carry a 7-0 record into a 7:30 p.m. home game this Friday against Normal U-High after picking up some quality wins in the last week.


The latest happened Tuesday night, with SJO defeating Danville 66-55 in a nonconference road game. The Spartans led 24-10 at the end of the first quarter, but saw their lead trimmed to 39-31 by halftime before the Spartans steadily pulled away in the second half.

Senior guard Tanner Jacob led the Spartans with 15 points and made 3 of 6 from three-point range to go along with four assists and four rebounds. Senior guard Logan Smith added 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists, with junior forward Tanner Siems contributing 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.


Junior guard Collin Thomey (eight points, four rebounds), senior guard Luke Landrus (seven points, four rebounds), junior guard Logan Lackey (five points), sophomore forward Parker Fitch (five points) and junior guard Coy Taylor (two points) also chipped in.


The win at Danville was preceded by a 63-54 win at Bloomington Central Catholic this past Saturday in the Illini Prairie Conference opener for the Spartans.


Balanced scoring once again carried the Spartans, who trailed 14-13 at the end of the first quarter before taking a 38-27 lead into halftime.


Jacob scored a team-high 16 points for SJO, with Siems joining him in double figures with 13 points. Taylor and Smith each had eight points, with Smith adding seven assists and five rebounds. Sophomore guard Tim Blackburn-Kelley compiled seven points, while Landrus (four points), sophomore guard Ryker Lockhart (four points) and junior forward Kendrick Johnson (three points) rounded out the scoring in the win against the reigning Class 2A state runners-up.

The win at Bloomington Central Catholic was SJO’s second victory in Bloomington-Normal last week after the Spartans held on for a 57-55 overtime road nonconference win at Normal West on Dec. 5. In a close game throughout, the Spartans led 44-39 entering the fourth quarter before the Wildcats rallied to force overtime before SJO prevailed in the extra session.


Thee Spartans finished in double figures, led by 15 points from Siems as he made a trio of three-pointers. Jacob added 13 points and was 6 of 8 from the field, while Smith had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists. Taylor nearly reached double figures with nine points. Landrus (five points) and Thomey (four points, six rebounds) also chipped in.

After Friday night’s home game with Normal U-High, the Spartans are set to host Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin at 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday before playing at Beecher at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 22.


Those two nonconference games next week lead up to the Spartans returning to Bloomington-Normal for the State Farm Holiday Classic. SJO is the third seed in the 16-team field and opens up its tournament stay at noon against East Dubuque in a first-round game at Normal West High School.

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