Columbia High senior guard Hayden Landgraf, one of the top returning boys basketball players in the Cahokia Conference, will miss the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Landgraf suffered the injury Saturday during practice, according to Columbia coach Mark Sandstrom. Sandstrom said an MRI exam on Monday confirmed the torn ACL.
The 6-foot-3 Landgraf tied teammate Tommy Lewis for the scoring lead last season at 10.4 points per game. Landgraf also earned all-conference honors and drained a team-leading 53 3-pointers.
Landgraf also was one of Columbia's top baseball players last spring.
"It was just a wide-open layup during a scrimmage session in practice," Sandstrom said. "Nobody was around, no contact. He went up and scored and came down and tore his ACL. He would have been our leading scorer and leading rebounder, no question about it.
"It was just out of the blue."
Sandstrom said Landgraf had prepared hard for his senior year.
"He had done a lot over the summer to make himself more multi-dimensional," Sandstrom said. "If he wasn't going to be the top scorer in the league then he would have been in the top three. I'm very upset for him, knowing that he was really looking forward to the season."
Landgraf was one of three starting guards returning for Columbia (15-15), which is moving to Class 3A for the playoffs this season.
The others are seniors Michael Hunsaker (10.2 points per game) and Adam Babb (87 assists).
"I definitely thought we could compete for a conference title with those three back," Sandstrom said. "Now our backs are up against the wall a bit and we're going to have to have some of the other kids pick up the scoring and rebounding that he could have contributed."
Sandstrom said his other top players are junior guard Trey Search, 6-8 junior forward Jake Wessel and 6-4 junior forward Cole Foster along with 6-3 senior Cole Mallinckrodt.
Contact reporter Norm Sanders at email@example.com or 239-2454.