CARBONDALE — The Althoff Crusaders proved no match for a Carbondale Terriers team that did little wrong in a 65-49 victory Friday night South Seven Conference game.
"We had a complete game tonight," said Carbondale coach Jim Miller. "Our kids came out with a lot of energy early and finished the game with a lot of energy. That was the key."
Carbondale (16-8, 3-5 South Seven) has now won eight of its last 11 games and has two games left in the regular season.
"Carbondale did a great job controlling every aspect of this game," said Althoff coach Greg Leib. "Any run we make they would match with either an effort or a bucket. It felt like big brother beating up on little brother."
For the Terriers, the win avenged a 75-73 loss to the Crusaders on Dec. 14 in Belleville.
"Defensively, they played with a lot of intensity to turn a 75-point game into a 49-point one, which is a nice statement," Miller said. "Our defense really energizes our offense. When we get some good stops, we get good transition baskets."
The Terriers finished with four players in double digit scoring led by 18 points from Shamarc Bursey, with 14 coming in the second half.
Althoff led early, but once the Terriers took the lead, 12-11, on a steal by Allen Billinger and a layup by Jordan Kelly with 1:58 left in the first quarter, they never looked back. Billinger finished with 12 points, as did Elijah Bidinger.
Devontavius Payne returned to the lineup at the 2:05 mark of the first quarter after missing the last two games and finished with 13 points, including two 3-pointers.
Dion Wooley swished a 3-pointer from the right corner to give the Terriers a four-point lead at the end of the first quarter. Wooley then stole the ball to open the second quarter and fed Payne for a transition layup and a successful free throw after drawing a foul.
After the Crusaders (12-11, 4-4 South Seven) pulled to within three points midway through the quarter, the Terriers responded with a 10-1 run to take a 12-point lead into intermission.
Carbondale increased its lead to 15 points with 5:44 left in the third quarter before Althoff went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to eight, but the Terriers pulled away again to take a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter.
The closest Althoff could get was 13 points the rest of the game as the Terriers made 8-of-11 free throws down the stretch. Kevin Renner led Althoff with 13 points with Ryan Marcum and Brendon Gooch adding 10 each.