Childress takes charge as Cardinals soar into first place

Braeden Childress races to the basket against Fremont.

BIG RAPIDS — The boys basketball campaign is down to the final three weeks in the regular season, and it appears senior Braeden Childress and his Big Rapids teammates are playing at their best at the right time.

The Cardinals (13-1, 9-1) avenged their only defeat of the boys basketball season and moved into first place all alone in the Central State Activities Association Gold Division standings with a 58-41 win over the Fremont (11-3, 8-2) on Friday.

Braeden Childress had 24 points for Big Rapids while Kalib Robinson added 11 for the Cardinals.

“We finally put together a full game,” Childress said. “Tonight we left it all out there and gave it all we’ve got.”

Both teams were 8-1 in the league entering this game.

Fremont won 54-49 over the Cardinals earlier this year when Big Rapids struggled horrendously at the free-throw line. On Friday, the Cardinals were 14-of-22 while Fremont was 5-of-7. Fremont had snapped Big Rapids’ 34-game conference winning streak last month.

Childress, who has had his own free-throw shooting struggles, was 6-of-13.

“We played helpside a lot and did what we need to do,” Childress said. “They missed a lot of jump shots they made at their place. Our full-court defense bothered them a lot.”

The Cardinals have a one-game lead in the conference for first place with four league games remaining. They have a league game on Tuesday at Newaygo.

“We just have to keep working hard in practice and bring it every night,” Childress said. “This conference is good and everybody is out to get us. We have to bring our ‘A’ game every night.”

It’s Childress’ third varsity season with the Cardinals.

“I know my teammates trust me when I have my hands on the ball,” he said. “When I get in the lane, the defense pinches me so it opens up the other players. I look for them when I drive. I trust my teammates like they trust me.”



Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at

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