Wickes scores 13 to lift Crossroads boys basketball to win over Manistee Catholic

LAYUP: Crossroads Charter Academy junior Tate Wickes (with ball) goes up for a layup against Manistee Catholic Central on Thursday. Wickes scored 13 points to lead the Cougars past the Sabers 43-28. (Pioneer photo/Ryan Zuke)

LAYUP: Crossroads Charter Academy junior Tate Wickes (with ball) goes up for a layup against Manistee Catholic Central on Thursday. Wickes scored 13 points to lead the Cougars past the Sabers 43-28. (Pioneer photo/Ryan Zuke)

BIG RAPIDS — Crossroads Charter Academy junior Tate Wickes hoped to build off of his 22-point performance in a win over Brethren on Tuesday.

He followed up with a 13-point performance on Thursday to lead the Cougars to a 43-28 victory over visiting Manistee Catholic Central.

After the Sabers cut the deficit to 24-20 midway through the third quarter, Wickes spearheaded a 8-1 run to end the quarter. He had a layup and then sank two free throws moments later to start the run.

“It was key because we kind of panicked, got out of a rhythm (before that),” CCA coach Jason Kostecki said. “We started to take shots that weren’t necessarily what we needed at that time, and him calming the game down got us back to where we were comfortable to attack the basket.”

Ben Martinez’s drive to the basket in the waning seconds of the third quarter put CCA ahead 32-21.

The Cougars continued to feed the ball inside in the fourth quarter, building a 40-24 lead — their largest of the game.

CCA’s defense took over from there, limiting the Sabers’ open looks the rest of the game.

“Defensively, we’ve been outstanding,” Kostecki said. “We’ve held all four teams we’ve faced under 50 points. I  told the guys from day 1, if we hold teams to under 50 points, we’re going to have a lot of success.”

Senior Luke Zandstra scored 10 points for CCA, while freshman Britton Angell added seven points.

“Britton, he has come into his own,” Kostecki said. “He’s still a litter nervous out there, but he’s been playing very well.

“And the kid I’ve been most impressed with has been Jackson Wickes, another freshman. Wherever the ball is, he’s always there. Whenever he’s in the game, he’s making a positive impact — he’s getting a rebound, he’s making a pass, he’s getting open looks. We just have to keep bringing these guys along.”

The Cougars improved to 2-2, taking a two-game win streak into winter break. They host Bear Lake on Jan. 5.

“It’s a big momentum boost,” Tate said. “Losing those first two games, it hurt us, but these two wins feel good heading into break.”

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Posted by Ryan Zuke

Ryan is the sports editor for the Big Rapids Pioneer, covering local prep sports and Ferris State athletics. He can be contacted at (231) 592-8363 or rzuke@pioneergroup.com.

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