Izard leads Spartans in loss to Tri-Valley

Despite drilling five treys and 6-for-7 shooting from the free throw line by St. Joseph-Ogden's Chance Izard, the Spartans drop their first game of the season in a non-conference dual against Tri-Valley, 66-64.

SJO (7-1) used three shots by Izard to take the lead with 1:44 left in the third quarter. The senior was fouled on a fade away jumper tying the game at 37-all. After sinking his free throw, the Spartans seized the momentum to end the period with a four-point lead at 44-39.

Two and half minutes in the fourth quarter, Ty Pence swished a long ball for three to SJO their largest lead in the last half of the game with seven points.

"We were getting beat to spots," said Izard, who led all scorers with 27 points. "It seemed like every other play they were shooting free throws and I think they really benefited from that."

Then, with less than three minutes on the clock the Spartans could not buy a basket in a cold streak that lasted nearly a minute and half while the Vikings took advantage of 17 trips to the charity stripe.

Prior to the last quarter, Tri-Valley shot just seven free throws.

"We were lacking energy today," said Pence. The freshman dropped four first half three-pointers on his way to 17 points today. "We go up five or six points and then have a let down. We'd get down on ourselves and then start fouling."

He added: "We really need to push through that and focus on our game."

Drew Coursey grabbed a season-high 11 boards and finished game seven of the season with eight points. The senior hit all four of his free throws in the final quarter of the game.

Tri-Valley was led by starting forward Jack Moore with 24 points. Braden Zenor, who made six of his nine free throws in the final quarter, finished with 14 points. Both of the Vikings' leading scorers finished with seven of their team's 25 rebounds.

St. Joseph-Ogden: Payton Cain 2, Jordan Kelly 2, Drew Coursey 8, Payton Grimsley 5, Chance Izard 27 and Ty Pence 17.

Tri-Valley: Connor 8, Moore 24, Zenor 14, Norman 6, Butler 6, Anderson 3 and Williams 5.