SJO Spartans silence the Bullets, pick up a huge non-conference win over the state's #6 ranked team in Class 2A

After recording their 1000th career win this past Saturday night, the St. Joseph-Ogden Spartans have begun the climb toward the next 1000 with a statement win over the #6 ranked team in Class 2A, the Williamsville Bullets 68-56 on Friday evening in St. Joseph.

The Spartans (20-1), who entered the week receiving votes in this week’s Class 2A poll, fell behind the Bullets early, trailing 20-18 after one quarter of play and going into the halftime locker room facing a 35-32 deficit. 

“We gave up 35 points at the end of the half, and that’s not like us, so we locked the defense down and took more of what they were giving us offensively, including getting Jack (Cook) the ball more as well”, SJO head coach Brian Brooks said following the game on his team’s effort in the first half.

But good coaches adjust, and Brooks did just that, switching up the defense and pressuring more on their bigs, which caused the Spartans problems in the first half.

“We switched Jordan (Brooks) onto Tuttle (Casey, who was their go-to player coming in), which allowed the Spartans to beat their post players to the basket”, Brooks added about their adjustments in the second half, where they outscored Williamsville 36-21.

Cook led SJO with a game-high 27 points, while Brooks added 13.  Those two players were the only two Spartans in double figures.  Riley Baker scored 9 points for SJO, who shot 23-45 (51%) from the field for the game.  The Spartans were 7-19 (36%) from beyond the arc, and took advantage of their free attempts, making 15-19 (78%) from the stripe. 

Williamsville, who falls to 16-2 with the loss, was led in scoring by Hayden Moore, who had 18 points.  Moore had his way with the Spartan defense in the first half, but was held scoreless in the second half, leading to the Bullets’ demise.  Joseph Mitchell and Tuttle added 10 points apiece for Williamsville, who shot the ball well, making 23-37 shots for 62%.  The Bullets attempted just five three-point shots, and made just two of them. 

Where Williamsville struggled was at the free throw line, where they made just 8-18 for only 44%.  The Bullets went to the line on several occasions for a pair of free tosses, only to come up empty-handed a couple times.  The Spartans won the battle of the boards 23-16, and the game was fairly error-free, with Williamsville only committing 8 turnovers, three more than the Spartans’ 5 miscues. 

SJO will get back into Illini Prairie Conference action next Tuesday evening, when they welcome the #9 ranked team in Class 2A in Monticello to town.  Then, the Spartans will end the week on Friday night when they make their first trip to Pontiac to battle the Indians. 

 

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