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The home court wasn’t an advantage, but the home crowd was a major factor.
Playing in a facility where it last practiced in November and on a court where it played for the first time three days earlier, Unity’s Rockets overcame a fourth-quarter deficit last Friday to beat St. Joseph-Ogden 65-56 in the Okaw Valley Conference basketball opener for both schools.
Name a small-school wrestling team throughout the state, and St. Joseph-Ogden has probably wrestled them.
A flurry of meets in the past two weeks following a superb showing at the Unity Invitational on Dec. 20 puts the Spartans in a solid position with the start of the Class 1A postseason a little more than three weeks away.
After a week’s break following the Bismarck-Henning holiday tournament, the Villa Grove/Heritage girls’ basketball team appeared to be rested and ready to take on the new year.
The Blue Devils hosted the Arcola Purple Riders in Villa Grove in a cross-divisional game between two long-time Little Okaw Valley Conference rivals.
The St. Joseph-Ogden girls’ basketball team faced off against a pair of teams last week that could be described as the past, present and future of girls’ high school basketball. Thursday, the Spartans travelled to Teutopolis for a non-conference game against the Lady Shoes, who have been a power for decades, and are still a force today.
A plan to help out football scheduling for Okaw Valley Conference members in the future has fallen through.
A plan to change the football playoff system in the state was voted down by school administrators, the IHSA announced last week.
The vote was 395-212, with more than three-fourths of the state schools responding. Last year, 57.3 percent of the IHSA members voted concerning amendment additions.
That is the length of time St. Joseph-Ogden head coach Dick Duval gave his team to celebrate their Class 3A second round playoff win at Unity.
The Spartans defeated Unity 41-14 last Saturday.
Duval said he was pleased with the way his team played.
The St. Joseph-Ogden girls cross country team had a good feeling.
They thought it was possible.
They thought just maybe they could bring a trophy home from the Class 1A state cross country meet.
"It's just amazing we were able to win state," said senior Abby Fisher. "It hasn't happened since 1990, so it's incredible."
Dick Duval has said this all season.
The St. Joseph-Ogden football coach wants his seniors to lead.
And lead they did as the Spartans closed out the regular season with a 34-6 home win last Friday night against nonconference foe Prairie Central.
Senior running back Orion Ciota led the offense with 88 rushing yards on 11 attempts and two touchdowns.
St. Joseph-Ogden Head Coach Jason Retz knows his team is dedicated.
He knew it when the girls won the Okaw Valley Conference meet, when the runners ran personal bests at the Peoria Heights Invite and when the boys had huge races all year long.