The Althoff Crusaders (14-7) have lost two of three games since losing star guard and Saint Louis University recruit Jordan Goodwin to season-ending surgery on his left shoulder.
At the time he was injured, Goodwin was the St. Louis area scoring leader while averaging just fewer than 30 points per game. He had 26 points in his final game against Mount Vernon to become Althoff’s all-time scoring leader with 2,324 points.
On back-to-back days last week, the 14-7 Crusaders lost 95-69 to South Seven Conference rival Cahokia, then dropped an 86-58 decision to 4A ninth-ranked Evanston at the Bank of O’Fallon Shootout.
Althoff lost only two games all of last season on the way to winning the 3A state title last season. The Crusaders finished second in 3A the year before that.
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“The last two years we haven’t had to be down in the valley or climb many hills,” Althoff coach Greg Leib said. “Now it’s a gut check and we’ll see what we can do with it. 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.”
Althoff still has plenty of talent and experience in its lineup, but took an emotional hit with the loss of their top player and inspirational senior leader.
Leib said it’s up to seniors Marvin Bateman, C.J. Coldon, Edwyn Brown and others to fill new roles, pick up the pace and change their games to try to get things going in a positive direction.
Althoff’s next game is Friday at home against South Seven rival Centralia.
“We’re learning as a group and for me it’s coaching without Jordan’s presence in there,” Leib said. “The guys are learning as a group of playing in that same situation. I feel good about them turning this thing around, I really do. It sounds crazy, but it’s a long season and it’s a journey.”