Several times during the season, Althoff basketball coach Greg Leib runs a 3-point shooting drill where everybody on the team is involved.
With time running down in regulation Tuesday, the Crusaders proved once again that practice makes perfect.
Junior guard Daulton Burgner sent the Crusaders’ city showdown with Belleville East into overtime with a 3-point basket with 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Althoff owned the overtime as it went on for a 65-61 win before a good crowd at Belleville East High School.
“We run the 3-point shooting drill where everybody shoots them because I don’t want us to get in a game where we need a player to shoot one and he’s never done it before,’’ Leib said. “Daulton stepped up and hit a huge 3 for us and we were able to make the plays in the overtime period.
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“(East coach) Jeff (Creek) was a competitor when he played and I knew they would keep coming at us. We had a nice 14-0 run to start the second half, but they didn’t go away.’’
Burgner began the overtime with a basket and Althoff (11-11) never trailed again as gained a measure of revenge after dropping a 61-58 decision to East 10 days ago.
That was the Lancers’ only win in its last seven games. The Lancers, who were led by Bryson Ivy’s 19 points, fall to 9-14 for the season.
“We did some good things tonight. Bryson had a nice game for us and I was pleased at how we fought back after they had that big scoring run to start the second half,’’ Creek said. “But we have to do a better job of finishing.
“We didn’t box out on the first 3-point shot. They get the rebound and hit the shot to send the game into overtime. We also need to do a better job of making free throws. We shoot a ton of them at practice but for some reason, we struggle making them during games.’’
Sophomore Ethyn Brown led Althoff with 14 points while Burgner chipped in with 13. But most of all, when they needed to make plays down the stretch, the Crusaders got contributions from several different players.
“Mack (Harris), Patrick (Readye) and we had several other kids step up and do good things when we needed them too to help us win the game,’’ Leib said. “Little by little, our kids are getting more confidence as a unit as we go along here.
“We don’t have a senior on our roster. To come in here and beat a good Belleville East team, you bet it can help us as we come down the stretch here and get ready for the postseason.’’