Althoff is blazing a trail toward its first Collinsville-Prairie Farms Holiday Classic championship since 2008, leaving opponents in a state of ruin.
Junior Jordan Goodwin scored 20 points and junior Marvin Bateman came off the bench and had 18 points on six 3-pointers Tuesday as the top-seeded Crusaders crushed Quincy 75-57 in the semifinals. Althoff took control with a 20-0 run to start the game.
Althoff (10-1) will face Decatur MacArthur (9-2) in the title game at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Generals haven’t won the tournament since 1984.
“This is a big deal. We needed this win,” said the 6-foot-3 Goodwin, who remembered the Crusaders losing to Collinsville in the semifinals last year and to Quincy in the title game in 2013. “I lost my freshman year and sophomore year. I plan on winning my junior year.
“We’re coming out here and playing the best that we can play. Well, not the best we can play, but we’re playing good enough to win. Everybody’s being unselfish and playing defense.”
Senior Brendon Gooch and junior C.J. Coldon added 11 points apiece for the Crusaders. Althoff led 23-4 after one quarter and 35-18 at halftime.
Quincy twice got within nine points in the third quarter. After the second occasion, Bateman and senior Keenen Young followed with 3-pointers, making it 45-30. After senior Mike Dade scored for the Blue Devils (10-3), Goodwin had a three-point play to make it 48-32.
The Blue Devils were no closer than 13 points in the final 10-plus minutes.
“We’ve got a lot of areas to improve at, but our effort’s been really good and sincere,” said Althoff coach Greg Leib, whose team shot 52 percent (26-for-50), made 10 3-pointers and committed just three turnovers. “Guys have come out and given a great effort.
“We try to come out with that Gen Patton approach: Hit them hard, hit them often and hit them where they’re not at. Then we try to sustain it. ... It’s different individuals every game. It could be anybody. We’re just trying to enjoy it and get better.”
Althoff reached the semifinals with a 72-46 victory over Granite City in the afternoon quarterfinals behind 17 points by Goodwin.
Leib said MacArthur has enough talent to challenge his hungry team.
“We’ll see what they present,” Leib said. “MacArthur’s good. They’re long and very well disciplined. It’s going to be a good challenge. I’m glad we just have one (game). I don’t know if we could handle two with going seven, maybe eight deep at tops.”
Goodwin said Althoff respects the Generals.
“They beat Lincoln, so that’s a big win,” he said. “We’ll try to speed them up and make them uncomfortable with our defense. Just the same thing we’ve been doing every ballgame.”
Dade finished with 20 points to lead Quincy. Senior Jake Jobe had 12.
Dade said playing Althoff presents a unique set of circumstances.
“I think it was just being scared,” Dade said of the Blue Devils’ dreadful start. “You see a team so big like that and whatnot and you get a little worried and you start to alter your shots. ... But it’s something we have to work on, not being scared against any team.”
Springfield Southeast 61, East St. Louis 51
On the heels of an emotional loss to Lincoln in the afternoon quarterfinals, the Flyers were unable to summon enough energy to contend in their 10-point loss to the Spartans.
Southeast (8-3) built an 18-point lead with 3:28 to play in the game, capitalizing on the emotionally spent Flyers (6-6), who were 9-for-26 from the free-throw line.
East Side had led Lincoln by 13 points in the third quarter after blanking the Railsplitters in the second quarter, only to fall 59-46. Lincoln outscored East Side 28-7 in the fourth quarter.
“Our guys were a little down from the game earlier,” Flyers coach Phillip Gilbert said. “But we’ve just got to build from these two losses and go forward.
“The guys are real emotional. They never want to lose. Unfortunately, we came up on the losing end of that first game. The guys were real down on themselves because they felt like they let themselves down and they let me down. I tip my hat to the Lincoln Railsplitters and Southeast. They played exceptional games and pushed us to the limit.”
Seniors Karon Randolph (11 points, eight rebounds) and Kenny Roberson (10 points) led the Flyers. Junior Trevyon Williams scored 18 points to pace the Spartans.
The Flyers have an opportunity to close the tournament on a positive when they play Collinsville or Granite City in the seventh-place game at noon Wednesday.
“We want to come out of the tournament 2-2,” Gilbert said.
Belleville East 68, Riverview Gardens 50
Junior Javon Pickett had 25 points and 18 rebounds for the Lancers (8-4), who won their second game Tuesday and advanced to the consolation championship at 3 p.m. Wednesday. The Lancers tripped McCluer North 65-58 in their first game Tuesday.
“We did some good things tonight down the stretch to win the game,” Lancers coach Abel Schrader said following the game against Riverview Gardens. “We’ve got to learn how to take care of the basketball a little bit better, but yeah, we had a good day.
“Our goal was to get into the consolation game and we’re there. We’ll come (Wednesday) and see what we can do. We’ll see if we can play well again. We’ll see what happens. I think we’ll respond in a good way and hopefully we’ll play well.”
Junior EnRico Sylvester, who scored 24 points against McCluer North, came back with 18 against Riverview Gardens (4-7). Senior Jalen Jones had 12 points.
Pickett was proud of the way the Lancers performed.
“Coach wanted us to come out strong the whole game, and I felt like we did that,” Pickett said. “We rebounded pretty well. They had a big kid (6-foot-7 senior K’Quan Carter) and they had another kid who’s going to SLU (senior Zeke Moore) who is pretty good.”
Moore finished with 14 points to lead Riverview Gardens. He left the game midway through the fourth quarter when he suffered an injury to his throat area on a foul.
Collinsville 66, Granite City 64, OT
Senior Tommy Maden hit a 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key at the buzzer to lift the Kahoks to a heart-stopping two-point win over Southwestern Conference rival Granite City.
The Kahoks (5-5) will play Springfield Southeast for fifth place at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Warriors junior Torrey Deal was fouled with 6.1 seconds to play, but he missed the one-and-one chance at the free-throw line. The Kahoks got the ball to Maden, who dribbled toward the key as quickly as possible before releasing his 25-foot game-winning shot.
Granite City fell to 6-5. Senior Kenny Berry led all scorers with 34 points. Collinsville senior Ronnie Midgett had a team-high 25 and Maden finished with 19.
Decatur MacArthur 59, Lincoln 37
The Generals drummed their way into the title game with a resounding win over the Railsplitters, the tournament champions in 2013 and 2014.
Senior Keymonta Johnson was too hot to stop as he finished with 24 points against the Railsplitters’ 1-2-2 defense, going 8-for-10 from the field and from the free-throw line. Johnson also led all players with 12 rebounds.