Posted by Max Harden on March 14th, 2019
BIG RAPIDS — The Crossroads Charter Academy battled to the very end of Tuesday’s Division 4 state quarterfinal game against Frankfort.
After coming up on the losing end of the 53-51 overtime thriller, the Cougars regrouped and reflected on everything they accomplished during the 2018-19 season.
“It was a good game,” senior point guard Ethan Davis said. “They came out hot but we just kept on fighting like we usually do. Mental errors cost us the game. In the end, the game was in our hands and we came up short.”
“I was proud of how my team competed,” said senior captain Britton Angell, who finished with a game-high 29 points including two 3-pointers in the closing seconds to keep the Cougars in the game. “A lot of people had to step up. Jackson and Isaac stepped up defensively and filled in the scoring role. We battled back and were able to make it a game.”
The loss was a bitter pill to swallow for the team but they ended the game knowing that they gave it all that they had.
“I told myself that I was going to leave everything out on the court no matter what,” Angell said. “I tried to stay in the moment until the very end. When it became clear that we were going to lose, I tried to be thankful for how far we’ve come and what we’ve been able to accomplish.
“I didn’t want to get too down and wanted to enjoy the moment. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The Cougars finished the season with a program record 23 wins and made the program’s first-ever state quarterfinals appearance. The team’s 21-game win streak was also a program record.
It all started with first-year head coach Julian Castillo’s first meeting with the team last year.
“He told us that he realized the potential we had as a team,” Davis said. “Our gameplan was to be the hardest working team in our conference. We all came ready to work. Our team went from a group of individuals to a true team. People would come up to me and tell me how much they could tell that we were a true team.
“Coach had faith in us from the beginning.”
The season provided the team with several memorable moments. When asked what their most memorable moment was, Davis and Angell spilled the beans.
“Winning the district finals,” Davis said. “The feeling was so surreal. I hadn’t felt like that before. That was the first time I realized our full potential. To celebrate that moment with my brothers was amazing.”
“The weekend practices during the postseason were fun,” Angell said. “We knew there weren’t many teams in the state with the privilege to still be practicing. My best friends and my coaches were there. It was a lot of fun. We’d get pancakes at McDonald’s together after every practice.
“The camaraderie was great.”
With his season concluded, Angell will shift his focus to deciding on which collegiate program to play for next season. Angell has received interest from NCAA and NAIA programs.
“We did a lot of visiting during the fall before the season started,” Angell said. “I’ll sit down with my mom and dad soon. I don’t have a true time table, but I’d like to make my decision sooner rather than later.”