Jordan Goodwin put the exclamation mark on his Althoff basketball career Tuesday.
Goodwin, a 6-foot-4 senior guard and four-year starter, scored 26 points to become the Crusaders’ career leader with 2,324 as Althoff defeated Mount Vernon 74-64.
It was Goodwin’s final high school game. The Saint Louis University recruit will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the partially torn labrum in his left shoulder Friday in St. Louis.
“I’m just thankful the injury is over,” said Goodwin, who has played with increasing pain as the season matured. “I really wanted to finish my season out, but the best choice is to have surgery, so I won’t hurt it any more. If I hurt it any more, I would probably ruin my (college) career or something like that. It’s probably best to get it done.
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“My shoulder’s always aching, always hurting. Sharp pain. I just can’t play through it anymore. (My dad) told me I’m going to be trying to shoot probably next week. But he’s going to take the ball out of my hands.”
Goodwin set the scoring record, formerly owned by Kevin Lisch with 2,306 points, when he made two free throws with 4:38 to play in the first quarter.
Jordan chuckled at the irony of breaking the record from the free-throw line.
“The most I struggled in my Althoff career was at the free-throw line,” he said, “and I got the one to beat the record at the free-throw line. That’s mind-blowing a little bit.”
Goodwin also had 10 rebounds, adding to his school rebounding record.
Goodwin’s shoulder has periodically bothered him for the last two years. After dislocating it in the Highland Shootout on Jan. 7, he wore a brace for support, but the pain continued.
“I’ve been thinking about (this) for the last three weeks,” Goodwin said of ending his season prematurely. “I kind of kept it from my teammates, so they could keep their heads straight and focus on the games. But when I told them, they all understood. I know they take it hard, but it’s time for them to step up now. It’s time for them to get buckets.”
Goodwin scored 16 points in the first quarter, which ended when he popped a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the top of the key to put Althoff ahead 26-10.
Goodwin had 18 points at halftime and 20 points after the third quarter. He contributed three late baskets in the lane in the fourth quarter to help Althoff (13-5) withstand a determined comeback attempt by the Rams that saw them trim a 56-38 deficit to 66-62 in the final two and a half minutes.
“We didn’t finish that thing Jordan Goodwin-style,” Althoff coach Greg Leib said. “I started coaching a little bit and let them get easy buckets and they got some 3s. ... But I knew the guys were going to do everything they can in their power to help us get a victory for Jordan.”
Leib said Goodwin, who guided the Crusaders to the Illinois Class 3A championship last year, “put us on the state map.”
“He’s so tough,” Leib said. “If he wasn’t so tough, he would have already been shut down. Because he’s tough, we’ve got to shut him down because he’s going to play until he hurts it (worse). I don’t want him to have an injury that’s catastrophic where it leaves him with a shrunken arm or a fused joint.”
After reinjuring the shoulder in Highland, Goodwin returned to play three days later against Centralia and averaged more than 30 points in four games. He had a 42-point, 18-rebound effort Saturday in a 97-94 loss to Chaminade in the championship game of the Chick-fil-A Classic at Belleville East.
“The shoulder’s not responding well,” Leib said earlier Tuesday. “It’s just too risky, and for a guy that plays as hard as him, it’s a difficult decision. He needs to take care of his body before he does something more serious. It’s a tough decision, but one we support 100 percent because it’s in the best interest of Jordan, his body and his well-being. Anybody else would have hung it up after this last situation, but he’s just that competitive.”
Lisch, who had an eight-point lead over Goodwin entering Tuesday, plays professionally in Australia and also played for Australia at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
As a junior last season, Goodwin was an all-state selection as the Crusaders brought home the state title. Althoff finished second at the Class 3A state tournament his sophomore year, and he was also a starting receiver in football, where he helped lead the Crusaders to a second-place finish in Class 4A in 2015.
“It’s going to be tough on him, but he’ll be there for us the rest of the season, and we’ll be there to support him as well,” Leib said. “I’ve had him for three and a half years, and I’ve been blessed to work with him.”