SJO holds off comeback to defeat ALAH 49-39 at Country Financial Shootout

SJO's Katie Ericksen passes the ball during second quarter action against ALAH. The sophomore finished the game with four points.

Photo: PhotoNews Media

ST. JOSEPH - Jumping out to a quick 10-point lead in the first quarter, senior Addisyn Martinie hit back-to-back treys near the end of the second to give the Spartans a 15-point advantage, their largest lead of the game at 29-14 over Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond. By halftime, Martinie had scored 15 points, and SJO was up 29-18 on the scoreboard.

Hats off to the Lady Knights, who fought with every ounce of athleticism they could muster, giving St. Joseph-Ogden a fourth-quarter scare before winning the Country Financial Shootout game, 49-39.

Aided by SJO's best players in foul trouble and a streak of missed shots, the momentum shift put the Spartans on their heels.

"We weren't hitting shots we would normally hit," said St. Joseph-Ogden head coach Drew Arteaga. "We got in some foul trouble, too, and had to put girls on the bench."

By the end of the third quarter, ALAH had cut their deficit down from 11 points to six thanks to senior Clair Seal, who lit up the scoreboard with nine points. With under four minutes to play, the Lady Knights trailed by one, 39-38.

"In the third quarter we weren't totally locked on defense," senior Addison Seggebruch said, explaining ALAH's fourth-quarter rally. "We found a way to keep going, fight through it, and stay positive. We got the 'dub'."

Fouled with 3:25 remaining, SJO's Addison Seggeburch drained a clutch free throw, giving her team a short-lived 40-38 lead. ALAH clawed back and earned a trip to the free-throw line, converting to put SJO up by one again.

It was as if someone flipped a switch, when the Spartans hit three unanswered three-point shots to go up 49-39. Katie Ericksen hit a trey, then Frick dropped a long ball through the rim, followed by a three-pointer from Martinie with one minute and six seconds to go.

"We just had a little bit of a drought, and that happens. That's basketball," Arteaga said. "Our girls found a way to come back, compete, and found a way to win."

Martinie, a senior, hit five treys to finish the game with 21 points. The Lady Knight tried desperately to keep the ball out of her hands.

Kayla Osterbur hold up an exhausted Addisyn Martinie after the post-game handshakes.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

"She is really having a great senior year," Arteaga said. "We are really proud of her. She put in the work during the off-season, and it is showing up. She's been a great senior leader."

Addisyn Martinie takes a shot in the first half over Lady Knights Sara Herschberger. Martinie hit both the game's opening and final bucket, draining three-pointers on each.

Photo: PhotoNews Media

Seggebruch added 13 points to her season total, Frick chipped in 11, and Ericksen completed the SJO scoring effort with four points.

Seal finished the contest with a game-high 23 points for the Lady Knights. Teammates Sara Herschberger and Lindsay Rohacs contributed five points each.

The shootout win was satisfying for Arteaga because of his team's lack of success in closing out recent games. After a three-game losing streak was laid to rest with a dominating 55-26 victory over Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin on Thursday, Saturday's finish was the second of newly formed win streak.

"We haven't been able to get over the hump in a lot of close games here as of late," he said. "We finally got over the hump tonight even though we struggled to score. It was good."

He was proud of his players and their effort on Saturday. His senior class and their leadership continues to impress him.

"You win with seniors. I think our core senior three are really good right now," Arteaga disclosed, referring to Martinie, Seggebruch, and Frick - all coincidentally with the first named Addison/Addisyn. "With those three, as they go, we go. When those three are going full speed, we are going to be hard to beat."

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