Saturday, December 29, 2018

Spartans win consolation title at State Farm Classic

The St. Joseph-Ogden boys basketball team used a 10-point second quarter lead to say farewell to 2018 with a three-game win streak after crushing Bishop McNamara in the State Farm Classic consolation bracket championship contest on Friday evening, 61-52.

SJO closed out this year's tournament appearance winning three of their last four games and with a much needed confidence boost heading into the 2019 half of the season.

Coming off a 29-point performance hours earlier in his team's semifinal win over Winnebago, the Spartans were once again led by senior Jack Cook, who was 5-for-8 from the charity stripe and finished the game with 22 points.

Cook averaged 23.5 points per game tallying 94 points in SJO's four post-Christmas games. Over the three-day event he made 23 of his 30 free throw attempts.

The Fightin' Irish didn't take chance with putting Chance Izard, SJO's most prolific free throw shooter, on the line. However, the junior found his sweet spot on the floor hitting 3 three-pointers on his way to his third 13-point finish and led the Spartans in converting foul shots (7-8) to points during the State Farm Classic 87.5% of the time.

Senior Joel Orcutt also scored 11 points against McNamara and finished the tournament with a total of 49 points. He missed just two of his nine free throws attempt in four games.

The Spartans also enjoyed a stellar night from Payton Grimsley, who stepped up in the finale delivering 11 points courtesy of 3 treys and a pair of free throws.

McNamara was paced by Payton Gerberding with 16 points and Broghan O'Connor, who dropped 14 through the hole.

Spartan fans will have to wait until Saturday, January 5, to see their team in action again. SJO (10-6) will take the floor against Pleasant Plains at 8:30 during the Christie Clinic Shootout hosted at the high school.

Shootout action starts at noon with the Monticello Sages taking on the Watseka Warriors from the Sangamon Valley Conference.


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