COLLINSVILLE — Althoff sought an emotional rescue Friday.
The third-seeded Crusaders were not pleased with their intensity level Thursday when they struggled to slip past Triad 54-45 in a game that wasn't decided until the last two minutes.
There was no lack of desire in Althoff's second game of the Collinsville-Schnucks Holiday Classic when it pasted Urbana 73-55 to advance to the semifinals.
Sophomore Brendon Gooch had 26 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots and freshman Jordan Goodwin had 21 points and nine rebounds as Althoff improved to 7-2. The Crusaders will meet second-seeded East St. Louis (9-2) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday for the chance to play for the title.
"We thought we played bad (Thursday), having a close game with Triad," the 6-foot-6 Gooch said. "We wanted to come out and prove we could play really well today. We played lazy yesterday; I just wanted to get after it today and get to the final four."
Senior Kevin Renner added 14 points for Althoff. His basket with 2:02 left in the first quarter put the Crusaders ahead to stay at 14-12. Sophomore Keenen Young's 3-pointer at the buzzer put Althoff ahead 39-29 at halftime before Gooch's 3-pointer made it 56-38 as the third quarter expired.
Urbana (6-5) was no closer than 12 in the fourth quarter.
"That's the hardest we've played in a 32-minute game all year," Althoff coach Greg Leib gushed. "It was a great effort. It all goes to the kids. They went out there and battled; they played well."
Leib said the Crusaders had to do that to beat Urbana, which hammered Collinsville 71-50 on Thursday.
"They're really good," Leib said. "There in the third quarter, we got a little separation. We were able to hit some shots. Brendon got a hot hand and made some baskets and Kevin Renner handled the ball superbly."
Belleville East 65, Oakville 55
Facing a 15-point deficit in the first half, Belleville East seemed to have more than it could handle against Oakville.
But the fourth-seeded Lancers, capitalizing on foul trouble on 6-11 senior Austin Gillmann, outscored the Tigers 23-6 in the third quarter and downed Oakville 65-55 victory in the quarterfinals.
Seniors Darreon Reddick (23 points, seven rebounds) and Cameron Hunter (14 points, six rebounds) led the charge.
"The first half, we came out a little slow," Reddick said. "We couldn't make any shots and we weren't playing well on the help side against Gillmann. He had a lot of offensive rebounds because we weren't boxing out.
"In the second quarter, we got a few steals, got our energy going. Then we came into halftime and kind of saw a glimpse of the potential we had from everybody boxing out, rebounding, swinging the ball."
The Lancers (7-3), who shot 71 percent in the second half (17-for-24), will play top-seeded Lincoln (9-0) in the semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Railsplitters ripped McCluer North 71-40 in another quarterfinal.
East trailed 23-13 midway through the second half when Gillmann, a St. Louis University recruit, was whistled for his second foul. Oakville senior Ervin Sarajlic (25 points) made a basket and a 3-pointer to extend the Tigers' lead to 28-13, but the Lancers went on a 9-0 run and trailed just 30-23 at the half.
Gillmann picked up his third foul just 12 seconds into the third quarter, and the Lancers took off with a 19-2 spree that began with a basket by Hunter, a 3-pointer by Reddick and two free throws by Reddick. Senior Jacob Parker's layup put East ahead 36-34.
Oakville (2-3) never led again.
"The second half, I'm proud of how they battled," East coach Abel Schrader said. "They came out and tried to play a little better. I thought we made them take some tougher shots (and) we were more physical with them on the inside."
Gillmann finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots in 20 minutes. With him on the bench, the offensive load was too much of a burden even for the talented Sarajlic to carry.
"He was in foul trouble a little bit and sat a little bit, which obviously benefits us," Schrader said of Gillmann. "It's hard to box him out because he's so big. Even if you box him out, he's still able to get the ball. It's a difference when he's on the court."
Oakville (2-3) shot 54 percent (23-for-43), but committed 22 turnovers and was outscored 30-10 in the paint. East's torrid second half helped it shoot 51 percent (26-for-51).
"The second half showed us that if we buy in to the goal, that's how good we can be," Reddick said. "If we played like we did in the second half the whole game, we'll be a special team this year."
East St. Louis 50, Chicago Marshall 39
The second-seeded Flyers finally pulled away in the fourth quarter in the late game, advancing to the semis in a ragged affair.
"That's the kind of game they play," East St. Louis coach Tony Young said of the Commandos (4-3). "I told the guys it was going to be a dogfight."
Junior Terry Beckner's three-point play with 2:44 remaining gave East Side a 42-37 lead, and the Flyers closed the game with an 8-0 run.
"Huge," Young said of Beckner's three-point play. "I was trying the whole game to get the ball in the post. He knew it was coming."
Senior Darrion Beane had 12 points and Beckner had 11. Freshman Jeremiah Tilmon had 10 rebounds. The Flyers shot 36 percent (11-for-31) compared to 25 percent (13-for-52) for Marshall.
East St. Louis defeated Marshall for the second time this season.
Collinsville 75, Triad 29
Triad, which played well in its first-round loss to Althoff, was overwhelmed by the Kahoks in the consolation quarterfinals.
Junior Brett Langley had 14 points to lead Collinsville. Senior Jacob Shaffer had 13 points and junior Anfirnee Wilkinson had 10. The Kahoks (4-7) had 10 different players score and ended their seven-game losing streak.
"We were concerned," Collinsville coach Darin Lee said. "We hadn't won in a long time; it had been a month. I was surprised at the outcome."
The Kahoks shot 58 percent (30-for-52) from the field. They played without juniors Emondre Rickman (disciplinary reasons) and Nic Gonet (injury). Collinsville hadn't won since Dec. 28 against Herrin.
"We shot it well," Lee said. "We needed a win. If we didn't win today, where's that win?"
Senior Matt Mersinger had 14 points for Triad (1-10).
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2665.