Facing one of the premier Class 4A teams in Illinois would have been a difficult enough challenge Saturday for the Althoff Crusaders.
But without senior Jordan Goodwin, the task was impossible as the Crusaders fell to the Evanston Wildkits 86-58 in the finale of the Bank of O’Fallon Shootout.
The ninth-ranked Wildkits (20-3) raced to an 18-3 in the first quarter and held a 43-20 advantage at halftime en route to the easy win.
Althoff shot 34 percent and fell to 14-7.
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“It’s an adjustment. It just is,” Leib said of his team playing without Goodwin. “We’ve got three weeks of the season left. We can get back to work and fix this or we can get the uniform tub ready.
“The guys didn’t quit tonight. They’re mad at me for taking them out. They played hard and gave it a good effort.”
All five Evanston starters reached double figures: Jaheim Holden (13), Elyjah Williams (13), Chris Hamil (13), Malcolm Townsel (12) and Purdue recruit Nojel Eastern (10), who also had nine rebounds and seven assists. The Wildkits shot 56 percent from the field and recorded 19 assists.
Senior Marvin Bateman had 12 points for the Crusaders. Seniors C.J. Coldon and Bryson Strong had nine points apiece.
Goodwin, the Saint Louis University recruit, played the final game of his stellar career Jan. 24 against Mount Vernon. Three days later, Goodwin underwent surgery on his left shoulder, which he dislocated Jan. 7 against East St. Louis in the Highland Shootout.
Althoff defeated Carbondale in its first game without Goodwin, but has dropped its last two to South Seven Conference rival Cahokia and Evanston.
“We did some things better tonight than we did (Friday) night,” Leib said. “We’re just not where we need to be yet. Not even close.”