Orcutt helps Spartans knock off state-ranked Wooden Shoes

Orcutt helps Spartans knock off state-ranked Wooden Shoes

TEUTOPOLIS — Joel Orcutt already gave the St. Joseph-Ogden boys' basketball team solid minutes with his rebounding and defensive prowess.

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound junior added another dimension to his game on Friday night, scoring 17 points to help the visiting Spartans defeat state-ranked Teutopolis 69-60 in front of a near-capacity crowd on the Wooden Shoes' home court.

"We had big expectations for him, but we knew he had a ways to go offensively," SJ-O coach Brian Brooks said. "He has just worked so hard and has made some huge strides on that end."

SJ-O (14-1) extended its win streak to five games with what Brooks called possibly the program's biggest road win in his 15 seasons at SJ-O.

"You couldn't hear yourself talk at certain moments," Brooks said, "and we were in some tough spots."

Only making 26 of 42 free throws (61 percent) didn't help matters for the Spartans, who enjoyed narrow leads after each quarter. But Jordan Brooks (game-high 23 points) made 9 of 10 at the foul line and sank four three-pointers, giving SJ-O a solid outside complement to Orcutt's inside production.

Jordan Brooks also supplied superb defense on the Wooden Shoes' best offensive option, limiting Lee Hardiek to only one point.

"As a staff, we felt Jordan was just as good, if not better, on the defensive end than the offensive end," Brian Brooks said. "We're really proud of him."

Bryce Haake (10 points) and Riley Baker (eight points) also contributed offensively for SJ-O, but it was Orcutt — averaging 7.6 points entering Friday night — who made the ultimate difference against Teutopolis (13-3).

"He's grown so much," Brian Brooks said. "He gives us another presence out there."