JUDSONIA — The St. Joseph boys are well on their way to another try at a Class 2A state championship.

The defending champs will take a No. 1 seed into next week’s East Regional after defeating Abundant Life 63-56 Saturday night in the title game of the 5-2A North District tournament.

The guys were ready. You could just see it in their eyes," said coach Brent Bruich, whose Bulldogs improved to 24-3 on the season. "We’re going to enjoy this win this weekend, but come Monday, we’ve got to be ready to get back to work."

St. Joseph will be the top seed from the 5-2A North and open Regional play against Augusta at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Bulldogs led the whole game, including 14-9 after the first quarter, 29-20 at halftime and 45-33 at halftime. The Owls got as close as six in the fourth but couldn’t trim the deficit any further.

"The boys did a good job on defensive boards," Bruich said. "We did a good job of challenging their 3-point shooters."

Wade Beck led St. Joseph with 18 points, and Tyler Jones finished with 15. Cash Schicthl contributed 10 points, while Jesse Light finished with nine.