Bobcats turn up the defense, defeat Crossroads 55-46

Brethren junior Logan Tighe (45) goes up for two of his 11 points in the Bobcats’ 55-46 win over Big Rapids Crossroads Friday night. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Brethren junior Logan Tighe (45) goes up for two of his 11 points in the Bobcats’ 55-46 win over Big Rapids Crossroads Friday night. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

BRETHREN —Brethren boys basketball had to focus on slowing down Big Rapids Crossroads’ Britton Angell on Friday night, and was able to do that often enough to win its third league game of the season.

The Bobcats (3-9, 3-6) clamped down on defense end in the second half to escape with a 55-46 win in a physical game.

Despite the result for the Cougars (4-9, 2-7), Angell still managed a way to score 17 points, but only 3 came in the second half.

“They’ve gotten a lot better,” Brethren coach J.J. Randall said. “This is probably the best we’ve played all year. It’s really good.

“It’s exciting to see the resiliency of my guys. It’s hard coming to practice when you’re working the way they do every day. They know they’re working their tails off and it showed today.”

Angell was able to find space early in the game by planting himself in the middle of the Brethren zone and kicking the ball out to his teammates for open threes. He found a couple of soft spots in the zone and kicked it out to Jackson Wickes and Cody Carlson for three pointers in the first quarter.

The Cougars led 13-9 after one, and Brethren’s Jake Riggs also picked up two fouls in the quarter.

“The nice thing is that we’re starting to see some other guys step up and play around him. That’s a good thing. Britton is going to be our number one guy pretty much night in, night out. Everybody knows that,” Crossroads coach Jason Kostecki said.

“Jackson Wickes hit some big shots for us tonight. Cody Carlson played real well. Hopefully we can keep building and get ready for districts.”

Brethren’s Caleb McWain finished the second half with the hot hand. He was able to drive the lane and create a couple of chances. He had 9 of his 16 points in the quarter. McWain also finished with 8 rebounds.

“He played like a senior. This is his third year for me on varsity and it was good to see him having fun playing basketball and he looked like a senior,” Randall said.

The Bobcats led for most of the quarter, but Wickes made a corner three as time expired to send the game into the break tied at 27.

Out of the break foul trouble caught up with Crossroads, and the already small team had to change up its lineups. The Bobcats took advantage of this by going down low to Logan Tighe. Tighe scored scored 8 points in the quarter to help the team break out with a 40-35 lead.

“We just kind of got out of rhythm. When the referees take players out of rhythm and you have to sit them because of some fouls that aren’t good, it just hurts,” Kostecki said.

“I’m proud of my kids. They fought back and they never gave up. Brethren runs that 2-3 zone pretty well. They’re pretty tough in there.”

Brethren played the final three minutes of the quarter without Riggs and Gavin Asiala, who each had three fouls, but managed to extend its lead by three points.

Once they checked back into the game in the fourth the team was able to tighten up its 2-3 zone and in the end hold the Cougars to only 19 points in the second half.

Wickes led Crossroads in scoring with 19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists, and Angell had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists.

After McWain’s 16 and 8, Riggs had 11 points and 15 rebounds, and Tighe had 11 points and 7 rebounds.

Brethren will be back on Tuesday at Marion (0-10).

Crossroads will be back on Monday at Evart (2-10).

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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