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Spartan defense stifles Sages

Seniors Peyton Crowe and Bree Trimble could have defeated Monticello all by themselves. It would have made an interesting two-on-five challenge for the dynamite duo who combined for 34 first half points in St. Joseph-Ogden's 67-21 conference win over the Sages on Monday.

Trimble quickly accumulated a game-high 19 points and Crowe, who finished with 17 points, contributed 15 of her own in the first half.

There is no 'I' in team, but for the rest of season, St. Joseph-Ogden might want to look at a way to insert the word "We". Monday night's Illini Prairie Conference contest was a team effort.

It was the 12th game this season the SJO girls defensive play has held an opponent under 35 points. With the starters out, the Spartans did not allow a single score from Sages in the final quarter of the game.

Maclayne Taylor dribbles the ball down the court during SJO's home game against Oakwood earlier in the season. Taylor scored 7 points in her team's Illini Prairie Conference win over Monticello. Eleven of the Spartans 12 players contributed offensively in the rout. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

As my former boss might say with his thick, rich, barely north of the boarder Texas accent: "Looky here. Funny thing is, you know, them two (Crowe and Trimble) could have taken the night off."

Yeah. Maybe.

Even with the pair sitting in their warm-ups, enjoying a generous marshmallow-laden hot chocolate and discussing plans for prom still months away, SJO would have still earned the W. Nine of the remaining ten players on the roster combined for 31 points.

In addition to the effort by SJO's leading two scorers, Payton Jacob came off the bench to score 8 points. Maclayne Taylor tallied 7 points in the first three quarters and Ella Armstrong chipped in 5 in the last quarter. Taylor Barnes and Hannah Dukeman made a pair of field goals a piece in the first half.

Angela Palmer, Katie Cramer, Alysa Lannert and Payton Vallee each scored a bucket in the rout for another 8 points.

Monticello was paced by Renni Fultz with 13 points. Olivia Swanson and Lizzy Stiverson were held to just 3 points each. Jayna Burger rounded out the Sages' effort with a single field goal in the first quarter.

The Lady Spartans are in action again this Saturday at home against Mattoon. They will follow the non-conference game with a home court showdown against Rantoul on Monday, January 21.

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