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Every once in a great while, there comes along a player that defines what grit and determination is all about.
For the St. Joseph-Ogden Spartans, that player is senior Brandon Trimble, who is setting records as he moves along in his final season of what has been a storied career.
Trimble scored 51 points in a losing effort for the Spartans, as they fell in the championship game of the small school 81-73 to the Raiders of Quincy Notre Dame on Friday afternoon at the Shirk Center on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University.
Trimble, who already had 29 points by the half, scored at will on the Raiders, keeping the Spartans in the game for the duration of the contest. Just three SJO players scored in the game, with junior Jordan Brooks scoring 21 points, while Austin Cain added a free throw late in the game.
The Raiders jumped on top at the end of the first quarter 20-16, and maintained a slim two-point margin at 40-38 going into the halftime locker room. Quincy extended their lead to double digits heading into the fourth quarter, but it was Brooks that brought the Spartans back with a three pointer as time expired at the end of the third stanza.
Trimble broke the tournament record of total points scored, totaling 162 over the four games and shattering the old record, which was 135 and set by Aaron Simpson of North Chicago back in 2011. Trimble had the record at the end of the third quarter, and was recognized for that feat over the public address system at the Shirk Center.
However, the Spartans fought hard, but couldn’t overcome the size of the Raiders, and ultimately fell. SJO falls to 11-3 with the loss, and finish with the highest placing in their tournament history. The Spartans finished third in 2006 and 2011, and captured the consolation championship in 2010 and 2012.
Quincy Notre Dame, who improves to 11-1 with the win, was led in scoring by Carter Cramsey, who had 17 points. Justin Bottorff added 15, while Jacob Mayfield chipped in 11 for the Raiders, who won their second consecutive small school division championship with this year’s title.
The Spartans will have a week off to recuperate before beginning their final season of Okaw Conference play when they travel to Tolono to play neighboring rival Unity on Friday, January 6th. The junior varsity contest will begin at 6:00, followed by varsity action at approximately 7:30.