Payton Vallee's free throw beats Comets, Armstrong leads scoring effort

With the scored tied at 40-all and just four seconds left in regular time, Payton Vallee hit a game winning free throw to give the St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team a one point victory over their host Oakwood on Saturday.

Trailing 13-6 after one quarter against the Comets, the Spartans roared back scoring 18 points in the second frame courtesy of 10 unanswered points.

Ella Armstrong's five points along with four from Taylor Wells and a total of nine from the combined efforts of Ashlyn Lannert, Katie Cramer, Taylor Barnes, Abby Behrens and Vallee, erased the early game deficit to put SJO up, 24-23.

Both teams produced an identical number of points in third and fourth quarters of their non-conference matchup.

In the last quarter, the Spartans never trailed on the scoreboard. The Comets tied the contest three times and did not allowed SJO more than a three point advantage in the final eight minutes.

Katelyn Young's final free throw opened the door wide for a possible overtime win for the Comets. Vallee, who finished with just two points, slammed that door shut when she hit the second of her two free throws - and the most important one of the night - with little time on the clock for Oakwood to respond.

Young, who hit eight of her 11 free throws, led the Comets with a game-high 22 points. Aaliyah Denius added another 11 in Oakwood's second loss of the season. The Comets are now 7-2 heading into their next game against Westville on Monday.

While Vallee's clutch shot won the game, the Spartans' win would not have been possible if wasn't for Armstrong's varsity career-high 13 points.

In her best outing playing for the maroon and Columbia blue, the sophomore was 2-for-2 from the free throw line and hit a trey in each of the last two quarters of the game.

Behrens finished with seven points for SJO and teammate Barnes, a senior, contributed six first half points to round out St. Joseph-Ogden's top three scorers on Saturday.

The Spartans, now at 7-1 for the season, are back on the bus Monday where they hope to pick up win number eight at Mahomet-Seymour in another early season non-conference game.

The Bulldogs, who are 4-3 heading into contest with the Spartans, already have one loss against a Illini Prairie team. Prairie Central, powered by senior Elly Haberkorn's 21 points, prevailed in the 48-40 opening loss for Mahomet-Seymour.

Box Score
St. Joseph-Ogden 6 18 6 11 - 41
Oakwood 13 10 6 11 - 40

St. Joseph-Ogden: Ashlyn Lannert 2, Payton Jacob 4, Taylor Wells 5, Katie Cramer 2, Abby Behrens 7, Taylor Barnes 6, Payton Vallee 2 and Ella Armstrong 13.

Oakwood: Katelyn Young 22, Ashlynn Pinnick 2, Addie Wright 3, Aubrey Wells 2 and Aaliyah Denius 11.

St. Joseph-Ogden High School 2024 baseball seniors