SJO defeats Cissna Park, 9 photos from the game

Jordan Kelly goes up for a first quarter shoot against Cissna Park
Spartan Jordan Kelly goes up for a shot on a fast break. The St. Joseph-Ogden basketball team went on to defeat Cissna Park 65-49 in there Toyota of Danville Classic game on Friday. Kelly, who missed on this lay up, finished with six points from two second quarter three-pointers. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Chance Izard Drew Coursey celebrates
Left: Chance Izard takes the ball up on a fast break in the second half. Izard finished the game with a game-high 18 points. Above: Drew Coursey tries to put the ball back up in SJO's Toyota of Danville Classic game on his way to a season high 10 points.

(Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Fans talk during a timeout in the first quarter. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Lukas Hutcherson and Conner Hodge celebrate a big play in the second half for the Spartans. Hutcherson finished the night with nine points. Hodge snagged five of SJO's 34 rebounds. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Chance Izard Ty Pence and Drew Coursey
Left: Chance Izard takes a shot in the first half of his team's game against Cissna Park. Right: Drew Coursey reacts to a foul call drawn by teammate Ty Pence. Pence, a freshman, finished his third varsity outing with 14 points and 12 rebounds. (Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO student fans sport ugly Christmas sweaters
SJO's Maroon Platoon members sport their Christmas sweaters while cheering on the boys basketball team on Friday. (Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Cheerleaders cheer during a timeout.
SJO cheerleaders perform a stunt during a timeout in the second half. (Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Spartans beat Cissna Park at Toyota of Danville Classic

Ty Pence goes up for a shot against Cissna Park
Spartan Ty Pence floats above the paint on a second half shot against Cissna Park during their Toyota of Danville Classic game on Friday. Pence notched his first varsity double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds to help the Spartans defeat last season's Class 1A state runner-up Timberwolves, 65-49. SJO moves to 3-0 on the season. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

With the lightning fast Chance Izard on the floor and 48% shooting from the field, St. Joseph-Ogden fought to a 64-49 win over Cissna Park in Game 9 of the Toyota of Danville Classic on Friday night.

Izard finished the nightcap with 18 points. The senior guard and emerging team leader had a pair of steals and two rebounds for his team.

The Spartans also received double-digit scoring from Ty Pence and Drew Coursey.

Pence notched the Spartans' only double-double 14 points and 12 boards.

In best game so far this season, Coursey made 71% of the shots he took to finish the night with 10 points in the paint.

"I thought we played really, really well together tonight," said Spartan head coach Kiel Duval. "We did some good things - effort stuff that we were asking them to do in practice - it carried over to the game."

Cissna Park senior Penn Stoller was 4-for-4 from the free throw line racking up 13 team-high points for the Timberwolves. Ian Rogers, a junior, added another 11 and sophomore Malaki Verkler had 10 points.

Ladies win again! SJO knocks off Vikings, 52-45

It took the Danville girls basketball team two quarters to match the Spartans' first quarter scoring output in their non-conference game on Thursday. By the time the game reached the halftime intermission, St. Joseph-Ogden built an impressive 16 point lead and never looked back on their way to a 52-45 victory over the Vikings.

Payton Vallee in SJO's home game against Paris
Spartan forward Payton Vallee boxes out Paris' Kelsie Crampton in her team's first home game of the season. In SJO's road game at Danville on Thursday she tied for a team-high finish of ten points with teammate Payton Jacob. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
The Paytons, Jacob and Vallee, led another balanced SJO offensive attack with 10 points each. Vallee was 2-for-2 from the free throw line and Jacob nailed four of her six shots from charity stripe.

Ella Armstrong came off the bench to add seven points while Ashlyn Lannert and Taylor Wells contributed six apiece leading the 10 out of 13 players who lit up the Spartans' side of the scoreboard.

Making eight of her nine free throw attempts, junior Erin Houpt lead the Vikings' offense with a game-high 25 points. Senior Miracle Payne and Tharija Rose, a sophomore, both had six points to round out Danville's top three scorers.

Improving to 6-1 on the season, the Spartans move on to another non-conference game today at 4:30p at Oakwood High School. SJO has one more road game, Mahomet-Seymour on Monday, before enjoying four straight home games heading into the Christmas break.

Box Score
St. Joseph-Ogden 13 16 7 16 - 52
Danville 8 5 19 13 - 45

St. Joseph-Ogden: Ashlyn Lannert 6, Payton Jacob 10, Taylor Wells 6, Atleigh Hamilton 2, Katie Cramer 2, Abby Behrens 3, Taylor Barnes 4, Alyssa Hamilton 2, Payton Vallee 2 and Ella Armstrong 10.

Danville: Erin Houpt 25, Tharija Rose 6, Nau'tika Conaway 1, Aanija Reed 1, Zytara Boyd 2, Miracle Payne 6 and Destiny Davis 4.

Varsity basketball picks up second win

To pick up their second win of season St. Joseph-Ogden had time on their side during their second game of pool play at 2nd Annual Toyota of Danville Classic.

In the comfy confines of their home court, the Spartans held Norte Dame de LaSalatte to just five points for nearly a nine minute in a stretch to win 48-36 on Wednesday.

Payton Cain takes a shot for the Spartans
Spartans' Payton Cain goes up for a shot against LaSalette during his team's second game at the Toyota of Danville Classic on Wednesday. Cain finished the contest with a team-high 10 points. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
Payton Cain led SJO in scoring with ten points. The senior, who also booked a team-high seven rebounds, wasn't satisfied.

"We've got a lot of work to do on our offense," Cain said. While it is only the second game of the season for the Spartans, he made it clear that team needs to solidify their identity to be successful. "We've got to find our dignity."

With 31 seconds left in the second quarter, LaSalette's Steven Deister hit a free throw to take a small nibble out of St. Joseph-Ogden's 21-14 lead. For nearly the next 10 minutes the Lions mustered just five points as the Spartans widen the scoring gap by 20 points at 39-19 with just 6:51 to the final buzzer.

Thanks to a strong defensive effort, SJO followed up a 6-0 run at the start the second frame with 12 unanswered points before the Lions' Joseph McCall hit two free throws to put the score at 39-21.

"On the defensive end we've done a great job getting stops," said Cain, who had 10 steals and used them to tack points on the scoreboard for the host team. "If we stop teams, our offensive will come up and finish out the game strong."

Once again, and it looks to be a regular theme this season, the Spartans enjoyed a nice balance of scoring from starters and the bench. All four classes did their part to secure the win.

Frosh starter Ty Pence was the second leading scorer with eight points. He went 4-for-4 from the free throw line - all of them in the second quarter - and had four rebounds.

Drew Coursey tumbles across the floor
Spectators react as SJO's Drew Coursey rolls across the floor after diving for a loose ball during first half action. Coursey, who played linebacker during the football season, was unfazed and quickly picked up by teammates moments later. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
Andrew Beyers came off the bench to score five points against the Lions. The sophomore shot 50% from the line making his first one in the first half of the game and missing his second half attempt.

Junior Lukas Hutcherson rotated into the fray during the fourth quarter to finish with a trey for the Spartans while Cain and the class of 2020, who combined for 22 more points, did the heavy lifting.

LaSalette's offensive effort was bouyed by David Carlisle. The senior was the only player with double figures, thanks to three three-pointers, capping the evening with 14 points. He was responsible for five of his team's 24 boards.

The Lions' senior was aided by Joseph McCall with eight points. Joseph Martin and Thomas Brauner added another five points apiece.

"They were pretty tough," said Spartans' Drew Coursey. While the three-sport athlete's stats were meager with three points and a rebound, his aggressive presence on the floor created turnover opportunities. "They were physical dudes. They played hard."

Tonight, St. Joseph-Ogden squares off against last year's Classic champions Cissna Park tonight at 8pm. SJO goes into the contest with the hopes of continuing their unblemished record and avenging the 66-37 loss to the Timberwolves, who were also the Class 1A state runner-up back in March.

Here is tonight's Toyota of Danville Classic schedule:

Game 7: La Salette vs. Schlarman, 5 p.m.
Game 8: Georgetown-Ridge Farm vs. Watseka, 6:30 p.m.
Game 9: St. Joseph-Ogden vs. Cissna Park, 8 p.m.

SJO boys open season with resounding basketball victory

If you missed the St. Joseph-Ogden boys basketball team's season opener at the Toyota of Danville Classic last night, then you missed one heck of a teaser for has the markings of an exciting year of SJO basketball.

Chance Izard goes up for a shot
Chance Izard goes up for a shot in the Spartans' Toyota of Danville Classic basketball on Tuesday. Izard finished with 19 points. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
Entering his second season at the helm, Duval started four seniors and freshman. All five were familiar names over the PA during this year's football season.

Conner Hodge and Drew Course took to the floor as forwards. Chance Izard and Payton Cain started in the guard slots and 6-4 freshman Ty Pence got the season's first touch on the ball at center.

Almost two minutes past scoreless before Izard made a lay up with 6:10 left in the first quarter to give the Spartans the first lead of the game.

It was a relatively unproductive first quarter for both teams that ended at 7-4. Midway through the second one however, the Spartans shed most of their first-game jitters and started an 11 point run on GRF. Skipping second and third gear, jumping right into fourth, St. Joseph-Ogden continued the offense onslaught on their way to a 64-37 win over Georgetown-Ridge Farm on their home court.

"They've got some quickness. That's why we are trying to use our transition game and push the basketball," said head coach Kiel Duval. "Even our bigs can run. We don't have a slow guy on the team."

Leading the team with eight points at the half, Izard added another 11 to finish the night with a game-high 19 points.

"He did what we expect him to do," Duval said. "The things we're pushing Chance to do, push the basketball, move without the basketball ... he did a lot of those things. We've continually pushed him every day in practice."

Izard did not want to take full credit for his performance that puts his team with on the floor tonight in their second tournament game against La Salette at 8 pm with a 1-0 record.

"I've got to give a lot of credit to my teammates. They did a great job of keeping the pressure off me," he said. "We struggled at rebounding in the beginning. But, we picked it up in the second half and that created a lot of opportunities for me to get some buckets in."

Jordan Kelly, who was shot 50% from the free throw line, also drained a few buckets. The senior came off the bench to start his senior season with 12 points, all lighting up the scoreboard in the second half.

Leading by as much as 28 points in the fourth quarter, Duval rotated players in and out liberally.

Luke Renfew scrambles for a loose ball
Luke Renfew goes after a loose ball after instigating a turnover. The senior was essential player on defense. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

There are fifteen players on the Spartans roster this season. Ten of them contributed to their win over the Buffaloes.

Cain finished with eight points, Pence added seven in varsity debut and Luke Renfew chipped drain six in the opening half. Renfew's offensive put back in the first frame handed SJO a 5-4 lead from which the team never looked back.

One of four underclassmen on the roster, Pence said he tense before the start of the game.

"The hard part was adapting to the speed of the game," Pence said. "Before the game I was really nervous. The guys helped me out and helped me get into the flow of the game."

The Georgetown-Ridge Farm offense was led by Kaden Mingee with 15 points and ten points from Cale Steinbaugh.

The Buffaloes look to pick up a win over Schlarman in the second of three games on tap at St. Joseph-Ogden High School tonight.

Box Score
St. Joseph-Ogden 7 14 22 22 - 65
Georgetown-Ridge Farm 4 7 11 15 - 37

St. Joseph-Ogden: Conner Hodge 2, Lukas Hutcherson 3, Payton Cain 8, Jordan Kelly 12, Chance Izard 19, Andrew Beyers 2, Ty Pence 7, Luke Renfrew 6, Braydon Rupert 2 and Hayden Brazelton 4.

Georgetown-Ridge Farm: Hayden Stal 2, Cale Steinbaugh 10, Kaden Mingee 15, Gavan Shelton 3, Jeremiah Smith 4 and Justice Arthur 1.

Seventeen named Illinois state scholars at SJO

Seventeen St. Joseph-Ogden seniors were named to this year's State Scholar Program by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC).

Senior Kenly Taylor holds a game ball and the Spartans' 2019 state third place trophy at Redbird Arena after the awards ceremony for Class 2A at the IHSA Volleyball State Finals. Taylor and four teammates from the final four team were named State Scholars this past week. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
Illinois students attain state scholar recognition by maintaining an outstanding level of academic performance during high school. In order to be considered, they must be ranked in the top one-half of their class by the end of their third semester prior to graduation. Finally, the student's ACT or SAT score must reach be in the 95th percentile or higher. Only students attending approved Illinois public high schools are considered for this honorary recognition and it is awarded upon successful graduation from the accredited school.

This year's recipients are: Lindsey Aden, Mallory Ames, Katelyn Berry, Emily Bigger, Ginny Bytnar, Andrea Cunningham, Faith Dahman, Hannah Dukeman, Erica Guelfi, Ava Mills, Eric Poe, Hannah Rajlich, Jenna Schaefer, Kenly Taylor, Stephanie Trame, Isabelle Vliet, Zoey Witruk.

Created by state lawmakers in 1957, the Deerfield, Illinois, based commission's main goal is to make post-secondary education accessible and affordable for resident high school students in Illinois through grants, scholarships and available loan programs.

The Spartans girls once again prevail in OT

Popping in four three-pointers tonight, Katie Cramer matched her season-high total of 14 points to help St. Joseph-Ogden survive their second overtime thriller this season with a non-conference win over visiting Tuscola.

Taylor Barnes also contributed a pair of treys in the second quarter and Payton Jacob dialed in a long distance field goal in the extra period to lift the Spartans to a 5-1 record.

SJO trailed by one point at the half 20-19 and stormed ahead in the third quarter nearly outscoring the Warriors 2-1 to go up, 35-29.

Warriors' Ella Boyer, who was quiet the first three quarters, lit up the score board with eight points for the night to help tie the score at 42-all.

Under pressure, Jacob and Cramer, one of just four seniors on the state runner-up team from the previous season, both drilled one shot each from beyond the arc in the OT session. Barnes and junior Atleigh Hamilton knocked down two free throws between the two of them to end the contest with Tuscola looking at a four-point deficit.

The Warriors were paced by junior Marissa Russo, who matched Cramer's 14-point performance. Brynn Tabeling also finished with double figures for Tuscola with 12 points.

In addition to Cramer's 14, Barnes finished with nine points for the Spartans. Abby Behrens, a talented sophomore, came off the bench to contribute eight points. Jacob, another sophomore and starter, chipped in seven points.

SJO's next three games are on the road starting Thursday at Danville, then to Oakwood on Saturday and concluding on Monday at Mahomet-Seymour for another non-conference matchup.

Box Score
St. Joseph-Ogden 7 12 16 7 8 - 50
Tuscola 11 9 9 13 4 - 46

St. Joseph-Ogden: Ashlyn Lannert 2, Payton Jacob 7, Atleigh Hamilton 6, Katie Cramer 14, Abby Behrens 8, Taylor Barnes 9 and Payton Vallee 4.

Tuscola: Brynn Tabeling 12, Hope Dietrich 2, Ella Boyer 8, Abbey Jacob 5, Klemitzki 5 and Marissa Russo 14.

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