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By Kris Atwood
For The Leader
The six seniors on the St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team played their final home game on Thursday.
What will be their favorite memories?
Winning the Sangamon Valley Conference tournament for the first-time ever in school history? Nope.
Breaking St. Thomas More’s conference winning streak? Nope.
79 varsity wins over four seasons? Nope.
What Ashley Beals, Delaine Florey, Heather Keltz, Ashley Landis, Tori Master and Bailey Trimble will miss the most about playing for the maroon and blue will be each other.
“It’s probably the girls. I love the group of girls that I’ve gotten to play with. It’s just been a really fun time,” Beals said is going to be her favorite memory.
Landis said, “Just spending time with the team, and having fun.”
“Probably just playing with all these girls, everyone is really fun. Our team is fun, its great, I love playing with everyone,” said Trimble.
The transition for first-year coach Jeff Finis was made smoother by this group of seniors. Having their leadership and offensive punch helped the Spartans continue their run of excellence.
“It has been a big help with the seniors helping me,” Finis said. “Walking in here I didn’t know what to expect but they took me by the hand and guided me.
“It is a good group of seniors.”
Finis had a starting group of all seniors in a 41-27 win over Iroquois West.
The Spartans (19-6) held a slim five-point lead, getting 11 points from Trimble in the first half, eight from Landis and four from Beals. But SJO defense shut down the visitors, holding Iroquois West scoreless in the third quarter to pull away.
Landis and Trimble finished with a game-high 13 points apiece, with Trimble hitting three 3-pointers.
“We are a good 3-point shooting team, but we don’t like that kind of game,” Finis said of his team’s six made baskets from behind the arc. “We like a more up tempo, man-to-man, in your face game.”
On Saturday, Trimble poured in 10 of her game-high 18 points in the decisive second quarter as the Spartans downed Danville 45-39. Landis added 17 points, on 9-of-10 shooting from the free-throw line.
“I just kind of throw it up there and hope that it goes in and it does,” Bailey said “You have to have confidence,”
SJO plays Monday at Cissna Park and Thursday at Paxton-Buckley-Loda to wrap-up the regular season.