Cougars drop Bobcats, 58-25

Crossroads girls stay perfect despite sloppy game from both teams

BIG RAPIDS — It wasn’t the type of game Crossroads Charter Academy girls basketball coach J.J. Eads liked to see from his team, but the Cougars came away with a 58-25 victory over Brethren in West Michigan D League play on Wednesday in a sloppy contest for both teams.

The win left the Cougars still without a loss with five-straight victories to open the season, but Eads said he wanted to see some better execution from his team despite cruising to a lopsided victory.

IN THE POST: Crossroads Charter Academy’s Katie Haner (left) looks to get a shot up while Brethren’s Taytum Myers (right) tries to defend her on Wednesday. The Cougars won, 58-25. (Pioneer photo/Brady Kenniston)

IN THE POST: Crossroads Charter Academy’s Katie Haner (left) looks to get a shot up while Brethren’s Taytum Myers (right) tries to defend her on Wednesday. The Cougars won, 58-25. (Pioneer photo/Brady Kenniston)

“It was a sloppy start and we had our chances to get a big lead in the first half,” he said. “Give Brethren credit. They were battling and making us earn it. We just couldn’t finish around the hoop, but neither could they.”

The Cougars built up an 8-1 lead following a jumper by Majenta Robinson in the early portion of a messy first quarter for both teams, with Brethren responding with a floater from Taytum Myers to pull within five with 1:45 to go in the quarter.

Crossroads finished the opening frame off with layups from Ellie Wickes and Jayla Strickland, whose came at the buzzer at the end of the quarter, to head to the second quarter with a 12-3 advantage.

That momentum carried over to the start of the second quarter for the Cougars, opening up the frame with a 5-2 run to push the lead to 17-5 following a layup by Alyssa Larson at the 5:12 mark.

The fast start to the quarter helped Crossroads go on a 6-1 scoring streak to end the quarter and take a 23-6 edge into halftime.

Brethren showed some fight coming out of the break, though, matching the Cougars point for point to cut the deficit to 31-14 after a layup from Mariah Pringle with 4:48 to go in the third frame.

But that woke up the Cougars as they blew the game open by scoring 17-straight points to build up a 48-14 lead going into the final stanza, finishing off the quarter with a 3-pointer from Cassie Cole at the buzzer.

“First couple minutes of the second half were kind of slow,” Eads said. “Next thing you know, we’re in the third quarter and we started to get a good flow and got some transition buckets. Anytime you can make layups, things start falling.”

The Bobcats outscored the Cougars, 11-10, in the fourth, but the damage had already been done and Crossroads kept its perfect record intact once the final buzzer sounded.

Larson led Crossroads with 20 points and 14 rebounds in a double-double effort, followed by Wickes with 10 points. Strickland added five points and 15 rebounds and Miranda Carlson scored four points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

For Brethren, Pringle had nine points, 12 rebounds and a block while Marie Falls and Emily Modjeski each had two steals.

Brethren coach Julie Riggs said her team matched up size-wise with the Cougars, but credited a slew of missed layups and free throws for why the Bobcats came out on the losing end.

“I credit (Crossroads) and they’re a very good team,” she said. “They’ve got the size and they’ll go far in the league. We have size, but they’re under-experienced, by far, compared to what (Crossroads) put on the floor (Wednesday).

“We go home and we’ll definitely practice layups and free throws,” she added.

Crossroads (5-0, 4-0 WMD League) is next scheduled to travel to Manistee Catholic Central on Friday while Brethren (2-3, 1-3 WMD League) returns to action on Jan. 6, 2015 with a home contest against Manton.

Benzie Central 41,
Chippewa Hills 35

REMUS — The Chippewa Hills girls basketball team fell to Benzie Central on Tuesday night, 41-35, at Chippewa Hills High School.

Blake Kuzma led the Warriors with 14 points in the setback.

The Warriors (2-2) play next on Thursday at Montabella.

McBain NMC 68, Evart 24

EVART — The Evart girls basketball team was bested by McBain NMC on Tuesday night, 68-24.

The Wildcats trailed 38-10 at halftime and couldn’t overcome the large deficit en route to the setback.

Kristin Kullman led the Wildcats in a losing effort with 13 points while Mara VanOrder chipped in eight points and 19 rebounds.

Evart plays at home against Beal City on Friday.

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