Kevin Renner hit two free throws with four seconds left and was 6-for-6 at the foul line in the fourth quarter Tuesday as Althoff edged Effingham 41-39 in its season opener at the Effingham St. Anthony Thanksgiving Tournament.
"He showed great poise and I thought he did a nice job of executing the offense," said Althoff coach Greg Leib, whose shorthanded team is without several key players because of Althoff's appearance in the Class 2A state football championship game on Friday. "With any first game there's more to work on than there is to polish, but it's still good to come away with a win. It's definitely something to build on."
Althoff led most of the game, but had to overcome a five-point deficit in the third quarter. The Effingham Flaming Hearts made up a six-point fourth-quarter deficit and then tied it on a 3-pointer, but Renner stepped to the line and hit the free throws that proved to be the difference.
Althoff freshman Brendan Gooch and junior Grant Strieker added eight points each.
"(Gooch) did some really good things for us," Leib said. "He attacked the basket really well and he had nine rebounds, so he had a pretty good opening night for a 14-year-old kid."
Althoff (1-0) returns to action at 8 p.m. Wednesday against Effingham St. Anthony.
Collinsville 68, Salem 37
Falando Wilkinson and freshman Zeke Moore scored 14 points each and Briley Kellison added 12 to lead Collinsville past Salem at the Pyramid Plus Tournament in Marion. Chris Mathis added 10 points for the Kahoks (1-0), who hit 11 3-pointers and led 37-20 at halftime.
Central 47, Mount Zion 39
Austin Rickhoff scored 14 points and Jacob Timmermann and Luis Perez added 11 each as the defending Class 2A state champion Central Cougars evened their record at 1-1 at the Effingham St. Anthony Tournament.
Kyler Scheer, a 6-6 senior center, contributed nine points for the Cougars.
"It wasn't easy and it wasn't pretty, but it was better than last night," said Central coach Stan Eagleson, whose team lost 41-40 to Mattoon on Monday without Timmermann.
Timmermann still wasn't 100 percent healthy after dealing with the flu, but he did make an impact.
"We had to rest him quite a bit, but he was the difference," Eagleson said. "He hit some big buckets when we needed them."
The game was tied at 34 after three quarters and both Timmermann and Perez hit some big buckets down the stretch to help the Cougars nail down a win.
Central was 2-for-19 from beyond the 3-point arc on Monday and 4-for-23 from that distance on Tuesday.
"If we shoot like that we're not going to win many games," Eagleson said.
Contact reporter Norm Sanders at email@example.com or 239-2454.