Perfect from the beginning

Coach feels league got the right players on each of the all conference teams

BIG RAPIDS — Jason Kostecki went into the West Michigan D League all-conference meeting with an idea who he thought would be all-conference.

The Crossroads Charter Academy boys basketball coach had in his head who should be the top six for first team, followed with the next six for second team and even the six who should be honorable mention.

ALL CONFERENCE: Crossroads' Noah Balanda (left) goes up for a shot in boys basketball action. (Pioneer file photo)

But what a coach thinks and how the voting plays out are two totally different things — except this time.

The voting went almost to script, said Kostecki, who was able to land one of his own players, Noah Balanda, on the first team.

“The coaches did a really good job this season,” he said. “I thought we picked the right players for first team, second team and honorable mention. It was pretty indicative at how the league played out.”

The Cougars finished at 9-7 in the West Michigan D League to finish in the middle of the pack. A lot of that success went to Balanda, who finished averaging better than 19 points and 18 rebounds per game despite constant double and triple teams night after night.

“He was very receptive to coaching,” Kostecki said. “He’s a great kid. He wanted to get better, make his teammates better and he wasn’t a selfish player.”

Also landing on the first team was Baldwin’s Andon Ware.

Landing on the second team were Crossroads’ Darrin Williams as well as the Panthers’ Karlos Perez and Brandon Childress.

Williams finished the season averaging 14 points per contest.

“Darrin had a good handle of the offense,” Kostecki said. “He was able to take you off the dribble and had a good jump shot. He made you pay if you doubled Noah.”


West Michigan D League

First team

  • Zach Bialik, Manistee Catholic Central
  • Christian Novak, Bear Lake
  • Noah Balanda, Crossroads Charter Academy
  • Erik Wallstrom, Pentwater
  • Andon Ware, Baldwin
  • Tyler thurston, Mason County Eastern

Second team

  • Karlos Perez, Baldwin
  • Alex Hogan, Manistee Catholic Central
  • Alex Ringel, Bear Lake
  • Darrin Williams, Crossroads Charter Academy
  • Timo Grollies, Pentwater
  • Brandon Childress, Baldwin

Honorable mention

  • Dylan Richardson, Brethren
  • Ben Feliczak, Manistee Catholic Central
  • Matthews Quinn, Onekama
  • Sam Sweet, Walkerville
  • Tyler Groenwald, Bear Lake
  • Joe McCumber, Mason County Eastern

Leave a Reply