COLLINSVILLE — With only one senior and two freshmen in the starting lineup, Althoff coach Todd Hill knew there would peaks and valleys in the early going of the 2013-14 season.
Hill just didn't expect them to come on the same night.
Freshman Maggie Reimer and super-quick guard Rachel Collins highlighted a 13-2 fourth quarter Crusaders scoring run as Althoff rallied for a 48-43 win over Collinsville on Monday at Vergil Fletcher Gymnasium.
Trailing 41-35 after three quarters, Althoff put on the defensive pressure. The Crusaders forced seven Kahoks turnovers and didn't allow a point until Samantha Buettner made two free throws with 3:09 remaining in the game.
By that time Althoff (3-1) held a 46-43 lead.
"It was a game of runs and we were fortunate to make the plays in the fourth quarter and make the last run,'' Hill said. "We're a very young team, and with that you're going to have some ups and downs. Plus, Collinsville's a good basketball team. They were playing at home and they've been struggling a little bit.
"We knew it wouldn't be easy. But I'm proud of my team. We made the plays tonight when we needed too.''
The loss is the sixth in a row for Collinsville (2-6), which took a 27-22 halftime lead.
Junior guard Aubreeney Brady, along with 5-10 post players Buettner and Kassidy Smith, led Collinsville by combining for 21 of its 27 points in the first two quarters.
Althoff rallied in the third quarter, taking a 35-33 lead following a 3-point basket by Rachel Mertens and a short jumper by freshman Kyliegh Vaught.
Collinsville responded with an 8-0 run of its own to end the third period. Four different players scored during the 2 minute, 40 second stretch, which ended with a 41-35 lead.
But the fourth quarter proved to be different story.
"I thought we tried to play too fast. We tend to do that sometimes,'' Collinsville coach Lori Billy said. "Instead of taking our time and slowing the ball down, we get out of control.
"I thought we came out with a good game plan which was to get the ball down low to our post players. We did it early but then we stopped.
"But I also thought our post players may have come out too high on the floor.''
Reimer scored twice in the first 1:41 of the final period as the Crusaders tied the game at 41.
Collins then gave Althoff the lead for good when she nailed a 3-point shot with 5:40 left and following a Kahoks turnover, Anna Hanger followed with an offensive putback to give her team a 46-41 lead.
Vaught led Althoff with 10 points. But three other Crusaders scored seven points or more.
"Coming out of the gate 3-1, starting two freshmen and just having one senior on the team, I'm happy with that,'' Hill said. "But those kids have played a lot of basketball. We've still go a lot of work to do, But so far, we're playing well.''