The No. 2 Kentwood High School boys basketball team took on No. 4 Union at the 10th annual John McCrossin Memorial Basketball Classic on Saturday night at Lincoln High School.
Despite getting off to a quick start, the Conquerors fell 76-69.
“We hadn’t played a team with that kind of pressure, that kind of athleticism, so it put us on our heels,” said Union coach Blake Conley. “Once we really started to attack them, we were able to get to the rim and good things happened.”
The Titans struggled in the first quarter, falling behind 12-6.
“We just told our point guards to go,” Conley said. “Once we figured out the matchups and attacked them on offense with the right spacing, that was the difference in the game.”
For the Conquerors, their plan was to be aggressive and attack the basket. However, things like missed blocks and not taking charges forced a different defensive plan.
“We wanted to pressure their guards a little bit, we wanted to make it tough for [Cameron] Cranston,” said Kentwood coach Blake Solomon. “We didn’t have good rotations in the second half though. That’s something we will look at for the season.”
The Titans leaned on Cranston and the senior forward scored from just about everywhere, finishing with 30 points.
“He did a great job getting to the basket and staying low for us,” Conley said.
Cranston, like Union, got off to a slow start in the first quarter by only scoring three points. However, he drew fouls that slowed any Conqueror momentum, and made all his free throws.
The Kentwood counterpart was Beau Roggenbach, who scored 20 points.
“I think we did a really good job staying composed, like when they would go on runs,” the senior forward said. “We just kept trying to battle back until the time ran out.”
Roggenbach’s size and speed makes him a difficult matchup most nights. Against Union, he took advantage of that with some early buckets off Titans turnovers.
Fouls became an issue for Kentwood, and three Union players went to the line within the last two minutes of the game.
Despite the loss, the Conquerors don’t feel too off pace from their goal. In fact, it was summed up in three words by Roggenbach:
“We’ll be back.”
Lincoln 58, Eastside Catholic 50: The Abes were able to defend their home court in the final game of the 10th annual John McCrossin Memorial Basketball Classic on Saturday.
An explosive second quarter is all Lincoln needed to cruise along to victory as they outscored the Crusaders 17-2.
"We didn't play perfect by any stretch, but that second quarter was outstanding," said Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton. "To hold them to only two free throws is great and we played really tough. Good team effort that wasn't pretty, but we'll take it."
Trevante Anderson led the Abes by scoring 18 points on the night. Brock Mackenzie scored a game-high 20 points for Eastside Catholic.
Jordan Whitford: email@example.com