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SJO girls rally back early to pick up first win of the season

A little more than two minutes into their first basketball game in almost a year, the Spartans girls basketball team was staring a 7-0 deficit on the scoreboard in the face against visiting Villa Grove last Thursday. It looked as if St. Joseph-Ogden was going to have a dogfight on their hands.

Trailing 7-0, SJO's Ella Armstrong turned up the heat starting with a three-pointer from near the top of key to put a few digits on the SJO side of the scoreboard. Responsible for her team's first seven points of the season, the junior came off the bench to finish with a team-high 15 points to lead the Spartans to a 47-33 win over the Blue Devils.

Nearly midpoint in the first period, Armstrong drew a foul on an attempted 360-degree spin lay up after picking up a loose ball in Villa Grove territory and dribbling down the floor. Sinking both free throws, SJO trailed by two.

Several possessions later the Spartans tied up the contest at 7-all on an pass inside the paint from Taylor Wells to Armstrong.

Later, Wells goes to the free throw line and knocks down a pair to put the St. Joseph-Ogden up by two. With a perfect 3-for-3 performance from the charity stripe, the junior contributed five points in to first victory of the year.

After another eight minutes of play, the two teams entered their locker rooms with SJO enjoying 21-17 advantage.

The Spartans returned to the floor and dominated the floor in the third quarter. Five SJO players combined for 18 points while Villa Grove hit just three shots for a total of just eight points.

Villa Grove's Kayleigh Block led all scorers with 18 points. Teammates Vanessa Wright and Kaylee Arbuckler finished with nine and six points respectively to complete the Blue Devil's scoring effort.

Behind Armstrong's team-high point production, fellow junior Payton Jacob finish the night with 10 points. Alyssa Hamilton and Wells chipped in five points apiece. Senior Atleigh Hamilton, like Wells, made 100% of her shots from the free throw line, was good for four points.

The Spartans are at home again on Thursday, when they host the Rantoul Eagles. The junior varsity contest is scheduled to begin at 5:30p and the varsity game at 7p.

Box Score

St. Joseph-Ogden 11 10 18 8 - 47
Villa Grove 10 7 8 8 - 33

St. Joseph-Ogden
Vallee 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Smith 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Armstrong 3 (2) 3-4 -- 15, Alyssa Hamilton 1 (1) 0-0 -- 5, Jones 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Walden 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Behrens 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Hug 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Atleigh Hamilton 1 (0) 2-2 -- 4, Wells 2 (0) 3-3 -- 5, Jacob 3 (0) 4-6 -- 10, Campbell 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2.


Villa Grove
Coldfelder 0 (0) 0-5 -- 0, Block 3 (3) 3-4 -- 16, Arbuckle 0 (1) 3-4 -- 6, Wright 3 (0) 3-5 -- 9, Stutz 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0.

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