Barnes scores 18 in Monticello win

Taylor Barnes had a great game against Monticello.

Making seven of her nine free throw attempts, Barnes scored a game-high 18 points in St. Joseph-Ogden's 47-39 home win over the Sages.

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Spartan Atleigh Hamilton tries to steal the ball from Sages' Lizzie Stiverson. Hamilton gave a strong defensive effort to help the Spartans extend their record to a two-game win streak. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

"She made free throws and she was aggressive," was the first thing head coach Kevin Taylor said about the senior's performance in the Martin Luther King Day contest. "We always talk to her about being more aggressive. She made a couple of drives and got a couple of rebounds - she just put it altogether tonight."

It was by no means a clean basketball game. Both teams engaged in scrappy play, something the SJO, despite their youth was better at.

"It was a scrappy, physical game. Whenever we play our conference schools it can be that way," he said. "Everybody wants to win."

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Monticello's Olivia Swanson dribbles around Ella Armstrong
Monticello's Olivia Swanson tries to dribble past SJO sophomore Ella Armstrong during first half action. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

A week ago Monday, Taylor's Spartans wanted it more.

Up by one thanks to Barnes' seven points in the second quarter at the half, the Spartans played a much stronger second half.

"We didn't start the best," Taylor pointed out. "We still got a lot to work. I know the end of the year is getting here pretty quick, but I liked that they settled in and started running a little bit better offense."

St. Joseph-Ogden played a consistent pace producing 13 points in the last three quarters of the Illini Prairie Conference game.

Despite missing two of her three free throws, Katie Cramer was the Spartans' second leading scorer with eight points. Ella Armstrong scored six and Ashlyn Lannert enter the game after the start contributing another five points.

Monticello center Jayna Burger finished with 15 points. The 5-11 senior was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Cleo Clark, who converted five out of her six trips to the charity stripe, finished with 10 points for the Sages.

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Katie Cramer fights for control of a loose ball
Senior Katie Cramer scoops up a loose ball in the second half between Monticello's Cloe Clark and Lizzie Stiverson. Cramer finished the contest with eight points. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

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Payton Vallee inspects boo-boo
Payton Vallee checks her elbow after a hard fall during second half action against the Sages. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

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Atleigh fights for offensive rebound
In the midst of a sea of hair and arms, Atleigh Hamilton snags a rebound for the Spartans. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

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Ella Armstrong grabs the ball
Ella Armstrong looks up while she secures the ball after ripping it from the grasp on Monticello Jayna Burger. Armstrong finished with six points in the conference win over the Sages. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Box Score
St. Joseph-Ogden 8 13 13 13 - 47
Monticello 10 10 7 12 - 39

St. Joseph-Ogden: Ella Armstrong 6, Payton Valle 4, Taylor Barnes 18, Katie Cramer 8, Atleigh Hamilton 2, Taylor Wells 2, Payton Jacob 2 and Ashlyn Lannert 5.

Monticello: Cloe Clark 10, Renni Fultz 6, Lizzie Stiverson 8 and Jayna Burger 15.

St. Joseph-Ogden High School 2024 baseball seniors