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Prep Hoops | Not holding back, SJO keeps perfect record intact

The St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team put their collective feet on the gas and didn't let up for four quarters in last week's home game against Rantoul. Rallying behind Peyton Jacob, Ella Armstrong and with double digit scoring all four quarters, SJO posted a 64-32 rout over the visiting Eagles.

Jacob notched the first two buckets for the Spartans sandwiched around a pair of free throws from Armstrong in the first four minutes for a 6-2 lead. Despite points after a SJO turnover and subsequent score by Eagles' Tanaya Young, SJO never had look over their shoulder to pick up their third victory and second conference win of the season.

Armstrong then widened the scoring gap to 11-4 with a jumper and trey. From here on, point production became a team effort for St. Joseph-Ogden. Payton Jones started bucketfest after putting a shot through the rim for a nine point advantage with 44 seconds left in the first quarter.

Rantoul's Young, determined not to let the game get away from her team, hit a three making it a 13-7 game.

SJO responded with basket from 6-foot-3 junior Taylor Wells to close out the first quarter.

Rantoul, thanks to a strong defensive effort by the Spartans, was held scoreless during the first 4 minutes and 49 seconds of the second half. By the time Kianna Berlasky's sank a free throw for her Eagles for their first point of the quarter, the Spartans had built a 17-point advantage.

Berlasky went on to finish the loss with 12 points for RTHS behind Young's team-high 14.

Once again, the Spartan offensive effort was a team collaboration. Armstrong led nine other scorers from her team with 16 points and she was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

When Rantoul's defensive effort transitioned to clamping down on Armstrong and Payton Vallee, Jacob doubled her first half output with eight points in the third quarter point to secure the conference win with 12 points. Wells rounded out SJO's top three scorers with seven points.

Wells and the Spartans travel to Bloomington tomorrow night to face Central Catholic. Fans can catch the Illini Prairie Conference game on the NFHS Network starting with the junior varsity game at 5:30pm.

Box Score

St. Joseph-Ogden 15 15 18 16 - 64
Rantoul 7 3 13 9 - 32

St. Joseph-Ogden
Ashlyn Lannert 2 (0) 0-0 -- 4, Taylor Campbell 2 (0) 0-0 -- 4, Payton Jacob 6 (0) 0-0 -- 12, Taylor Wells 3 (0) 1-2 -- 7, Atleigh Hamilton 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Taylor Hug 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Abby Behrens 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Isabell Smith 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Peyton Jones 3 (0) 0-0 -- 6, Alyssa Hamilton 1 (1) 0-0 -- 5, Payton Vallee 3 (0) 0-3 -- 6, Ella Armstrong 2 (2) 6-6 -- 16.

Rantoul
McClyde 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Walton 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Berlatsky 3 (0) 4-8 -- 10, Emery 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Jackson-Romper 2 (0) 0-0 -- 4, Sutherland 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Dixon 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Young 4 (2) 0-1 -- 14, Vermillon 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0.

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