CCA clinches share of D League championship with 69-39 win over Pentwater

CCA senior Jackson Wickes (10) looks for an open lane during Friday’s game. (Pioneer photo/Maxwell Harden)

BIG RAPIDS — Friday’s game between Crossroads Charter Academy and Pentwater had all the makings of a down-to-the-wire thriller. The Falcons were winners of seven consecutive games heading into the matchup and had an upset on their minds.

The Cougars had other ideas.

CCA jumped out to a 29-6 lead and kept the petal on the metal until the clock struck zero to the tune of a 69-39 Cougars win. The victory gives CCA (16-1, 14-1) its 14th straight victory and earns the team a share of the West Michigan D League title.

“I told the boys to remember what got us here,” head coach Julian Castillo said. “Our effort, energy, and defense got us here. Everything else will take care of itself if we do those things.”

The Cougars were coming off a 66-45 road win over Walkerville on Thursday. The quick turnaround didn’t seem to affect CCA’s energy level.

“It was pretty fun,” CCA senior captain Britton Angell said. “We’ve improved a lot since the beginning of the season. I think we played one of our best games of the season tonight — both defensively or offensively. We played back-to-back games, so to be able to bring the energy that we brought tonight was very special.”

“That’s our goal,” Senior Jackson Wickes said. “Britton always tells us that we’re wolves, not sheep. We want to feed. Our goal is to come out strong and make a statement. That’s what we did today.”

Angell led all scorers with 24 points and Isaac Slomp and Cody Carlson scored 15 and 13 points, respectively. Jackson Wickes added eight points of his own.

The Falcons could not stay in front of CCA’s up-tempo offense. The Cougars took a 43-15 advantage into halftime. They led by as many as 35 in the second half and pulled their starters midway through the fourth quarter.

“It all comes down to teamwork,” Carlson said. “We have really good chemistry together. We have great court vision and communication. That’s probably the best thing we have going for us.”

Crossroads will be at Mason County Eastern Monday night for a make-up game and will host Bear Lake on Tuesday. If the Cougars win both games they will earn an outright conference title.

“We can’t look past them,” Castillo said. “Any given night a team can beat you. If we win these next two games, we’ll have it. But we can’t get complacent if we want to make a postseason run.”

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