Boys Basketball

Metro-east players claim three spots on Class 4A first-team all-state

Althoff Crusaders senior Jordan Goodwin was one of three metro-east players earning Associated Press Class 4A first-team all-state honors. The others were Edwardsville senior Mark Smith and East St. Louis senior Jeremiah Tilmon.
Althoff Crusaders senior Jordan Goodwin was one of three metro-east players earning Associated Press Class 4A first-team all-state honors. The others were Edwardsville senior Mark Smith and East St. Louis senior Jeremiah Tilmon.

The metro-east had a heavy representation on the Associated Press Class 3A-4A boys basketball all-state teams released Thursday.

Local teams produced three of the six players making Class 4A first-team all-state, including Edwardsville senior Mark Smith, Althoff senior Jordan Goodwin and East St. Louis senior Jeremiah Tilmon.

On second-team all-state in Class 4A is Belleville East senior Javon Pickett. Edwardsville senior A.J. Epenesa and Belleville West sophomore E.J. Liddell were voted to the 4A honorable-mention squad.

The other AP first-team All-State selections in Class 4A were Bolingbrook senior Nana Akenten, Evanston senior Nojel Eastern and Simeon senior Evan Gilyard.

No area players made first or second-team all-state in Class 3A, though Cahokia senior Thomas “Taco” Bell made the honorable-mention all-state team.

Smith, who has numerous major Division I offers, averaged 21.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 8.4 assists for the Tigers (30-2). Edwardsville reached the super-sectional before losing 76-64 to Simeon on Tuesday at Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena.

Goodwin is the all-time leading scorer in Althoff history with 2,324 points and signed with Saint Louis University. The three-time all-state selection averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds before missing Althoff’s final 11 games after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Goodwin helped lead Althoff to the 2016 Class 3A state championship and a runner-up finish at the 2015 3A state tournament.

The 6-foot-10 Tilmon is an Illinois recruit who returned to East St. Louis after playing last season at La Lumiere Academy in Indiana. He averaged 15.5 points and 10.9 rebounds for a Flyers team that lost to Belleville West in the regional. He also posted 95 blocked shots.

Liddell, a 6-7 sophomore guard, already has offers from Illinois, SLU and DePaul. He averaged 19.6 points and 7.4 rebounds with 100 blocked shots for the Maroons’ regional championship squad that lost to top-ranked Edwardsville in sectional play.

Liddell exploded for a career-high 43 points in a regional-title win over Belleville East and had two other games of 33 or more points.

Epenesa, a football All-American headed to Iowa to play defensive end, averaged 15.3 and 13.2 rebounds for Edwardsville.

Norm Sanders: 618-239-2454, @NormSanders

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