Jackson comes up short in loss to Belleville (Ill.) Althoff

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Indians were beaten 68-57 by the Crusaders.

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- With 6-foot-6 junior starter Spencer Goodman again missing due to an injury and 6-6 junior starter Hunter Grantham missing for much of the game due to foul trouble, the Jackson boys basketball team had no answer for a big, athletic Belleville (Ill.) Althoff squad in a 68-57 loss Saturday at the Heartland Hoopfest at the Perry Park Center.

Goodman has not played since going down in the season-opening Farmington Invitational, which the Indians won. Grantham picked up three quick fouls Saturday and fouled out after scoring just two points. Antonio Garritano, a 6-5 starting forward, also fouled out for the Indians.

Despite having to patch together the lineup due to foul troubles in the second half, Jackson was outscored only 29-26 after the break. The Indians had the lead down to six with 3:30 remaining but could get no closer.

"The second half is definitely the way we wanted to play the first half," Jackson coach Darrin Scott said. "We wanted to force them up the floor, force the tempo. If we would have played the first half as hard as we played the second half, it would have been a closer ball game."

Unlike most games, where the Indians tower over opponents with a starting lineup that features just one player standing shorter than 6-3, Jackson was matched by Althoff in size. The Crusaders featured a 6-7 sophomore center, and went 6-1 or taller with the rest of their starting lineup.

"On a good note, from a rebounding standpoint, this showed us what we have to do defensively on the boards," Scott said. "When you're bigger than your opponent on the defensive side, you can get a little lax. When they're [Grantham, Goodman and Garritano] not in there and the other team is athletic and has size, it shows you what you have to do."

Althoff jumped to a 9-4 lead in the opening quarter and maintained its lead throughout. Jackson picked up a little momentum late in the quarter, cutting the lead to 18-14, but a pair of baskets in the final minutes pushed the first-quarter margin to 22-14.

The lead hovered between eight and 11 points for much of the second half. Nearly every time Jackson got a stop to cut the lead to two possessions, the Indians seemed to turn the ball over.

"I thought the second half, we finally got them to a place where they were pretty fatigued, but we were never in a position to make a run," Scott said.

Justin Jones led Althoff with 27 points, which set the record for most points in a game in the short three-year history of the Hoopfest. Will Lawson added 12 points for the Crusaders and Pat Young had 11.

Garritano led Jackson with 14 points, Jake Leet had 13, Steven Spradling had 13 and Marcus Harris had 10.

Jackson will play Wentzville Holt on Thursday in its last game before the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament. "We're 5-3 and we've played some quality teams," Scott said. "We know where we need to go. We have a good idea what our strenghts are, and what we need to work on."

Althoff 68, Jackson 57


ALTHOFF (68) -- Pat Blassie 5, Kyle Mertens 2, Tremayne Taylor 2, Justin Jones 27, Pat Young 11, David Winter 2, Will Lawson 12. FG 28, FT 9-20, F 18 (3-pointers: Blassie 1, Jones 1, Young 1. Fouled out: none).

JACKSON (57) -- Caleb Guilliams 2, Marcus Harris 10, Steven Spradlin 11, Matt Lang 4, Jake Leet 13, Hunter Grantham 2, Antonio Garritano 14. FG 21, FT 14-24, F 19 (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: Grantham, Garritano).

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