Boys Basketball

O'Fallon still perfect in Panther Dome regionals after eliminating Althoff

Senior Jalen Hodge leads O’Fallon to regional semifinals

O’Fallon senior Jalen Hodge scores 26 points to lead the Panthers past Althoff Catholic Crusaders in the Class 4A Regional game at the OTHS Panther Dome.
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O’Fallon senior Jalen Hodge scores 26 points to lead the Panthers past Althoff Catholic Crusaders in the Class 4A Regional game at the OTHS Panther Dome.

The O'Fallon Panthers won the last regional basketball tournament held on their home floor as the No. 4 seed 13 years ago.

Second-year coach Brian Muniz hopes some of that Panther Dome magic carried over to this year's sequel. O'Fallon knocked off Althoff 62-55 in the quarterfinals Monday.

The Panthers (11-17) advanced to a semifinal game against Edwardsville, second-place finishers in the Southwestern Conference, at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

"We preach to our guys that this is a new season. Right now we're 1-0 and we've got to go and play with confidence," Muniz said. "We just always want to play our best game and see what happens.

"You know we're at home and I told the guys there's a little magic in the regionals here. Hopefully, we see some of that Wednesday night."

Jalen Hodge provided all the magic the Panthers needed Monday, scoring 26 points. The performance came on the heels of a magical week in which the O'Fallon senior scored in 1,000th career point and signed to play Division I basketball at Louisiana-Monroe.

"There are going to be teams that are going to sleep on us," Hodge said. "We like being the underdog. We've got some shooters, so we think we can come out and shock everybody."

Ronnie Anthony added 13 points for the Panthers.

For Althoff (4-23), it's been a hard season by any standard, but especially by comparison to its most recent years. Two years removed from a Class 3A state championship with an almost completely turned-over roster, Althoff finished 4-23.

Seven seniors depart next season, too.

"Nobody could tell what our record was tonight by how hard we played," Althoff coach Greg Leib said. "Most teams would have laid down a long time ago. These guys kept playing hard. If I had Nike or Adidas money I could restock every year, but it's a process. We'll be pretty young again next year, but we'll keep working them and keep learning."

Sophomore Greg Wells led the Crusaders with 15 points while senior Melvin Brock added 10.

Collinsville advances

In a Quincy 4A Regional quarterfinal, Collinsville outlasted Springfield 61-40. Ray'Sean Taylor scored 15 points to lead the Kahoks (17-13) to the win and to a semifinal game against Quincy at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Columbia advances past Waterloo

Jordan Holmes scored 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to lead the Columbia Eagles to a 68-49 win over host Waterloo in the 3A regional quarterfinals.

The Eagles, who have won eight of their last nine games, improved to 18-11 and advanced to a semifinal game against Civic Memorial at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The teams split two games during the regular season.

Cole Khoury contributed 14 points and nine rebounds to the Columbia victory. Waterloo was led by Eli Dodd's 14 points, while Ross Schrader pitched in 13.

The Bulldogs finished 7-23.

Mascoutah moves on

In the other quarterfinal in Waterloo, the Mascoutah Indians defeated Freeburg 74-57.

Mascoutah improved to 17-12 and will face top-seeded Alton Marquette (28-0) in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Waterloo's season ends at 7-23.

Central knocks off Mater Dei

At the Highland Class 3A Regional, Central defeated cross-town rival Mater Dei 41-38 in a quarterfinal game.

Tyler Joest scored 11 points and Camden Wempe added 10 in the Cougars' victory. Mater Dei got 12 points from Mitchell Haake.

Central (13-16) moves on to the semifinals against East St. Louis at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Mater Dei finished 12-16.

Cahokia eliminates Triad

In the other Highland quarterfinal, the Cahokia Comanches knocked off the Triad Knights 63-41.

Cahokia (13-13) will face Highland in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Triad's season ends at 14-15.

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