Posted by Max Harden on March 7th, 2019
BIG RAPIDS — For most of the night, it looked as though the Crossroads Charter Academy girls basketball team would be on its way to a comfortable district semifinal win over Mason County Eastern.
But the Cardinals had other plans.
CCA was outscored 16-5 in the fourth quarter and fell to MCE 37-36 in Division 4 district semifinal action Wednesday at home.
Sophomore forward Allie Angell led the Cougars with 16 points and Mackenzie Cole tallied 13 points.
“The biggest thing is we’ve improved a lot all year,” head coach Jason Kostecki said. “Our record doesn’t show that but they’ve improved. We started out hot and towards the end, we started turning the ball over and making some young mistakes. Their seniors kind of took over.
“It’s okay, we’re working on building. I’m really proud of the kids. They played hard all season and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
“We lost to them by one point,” senior guard Samantha Taylor said. “We played them twice during the regular season and lost by double digits each time. We had the lead and we wanted to win the game, but in the end, we improved a lot.”
The Cougars couldn’t have asked for a better start to the game as their defense fueled their offense to the tune of a 15-4 lead after one quarter. The Cougars were able to keep the train rolling in the second quarter, with a Meghan Schultz buzzer-beating jumper giving the Cougars a 23-8 halftime advantage.
“We put that trap in over the course of the last week and a half,” Kostecki said. “They worked on it and picked it up quickly.”
The Cardinals trimmed CCA’s lead to 23-14 before a Mackenzie Cole 3-pointer put the Cougars back up by 12. CCA took a 26-14 advantage into the fourth quarter before the Cardinals used their height advantage and their experience to make a move.
“It’s not that the defense got any worse,” Kostecki said. “We just gave up some critical offensive rebounds. They had some height and they used it to their advantage.”
The Cougars finished the season with a 3-15 record and graduate two seniors in Taylor and Schultz.