The Maranatha Baptist Academy boys basketball team cut down the nets Saturday, winning the Wisconsin Association of Christian School state championship with a 51-29 victory over Wyldewood Christian School.
“We have been in the championship game each of the last four years, winning the last two,” Maranatha coach Rob Cronin said. “These seniors set some goals to accomplish and saw them achieved today.”
The Crusaders served notice early they had come to play. Junior guard Bryce Thompson hit a pair of 3-pointers and senior Matt Wetzel added a pair of free throws and it was 8-0 a minute in.
Things settled down through the half with Maranatha carrying a 21-16 lead to the break.
Senior forwards Ben Schulz and Clint Saxon scored baskets out of the break before Thompson hit another 3-pointer in a 7-2 run to make it 28-18.
The lead was still 10 after three quarters before Maranatha used an early fourth-quarter push to put it away.
Senior forward Nick Cina grabbed an offensive rebound and scored before Wetzel connected from 3-point range and the lead was 15. Junior forward David Carmeron got into the act with a 3-point play before Saxon hit a 3-pointer from up top, extending the lead to 21.
“The team has worked together not caring who scored the points but willing to do their job,” Cronin said. “They knew they had to outwork, outhustle, and outdefend whoever they faced. They knew they would face some adversity … but were able to work through that by focusing on doing the little things that have brought them to this point.”
Thompson connected on six 3-pointers in the game to finish with 20 points and lead all scorers. Wetzel had nine while five other Crusaders had between three and five points.
“I am proud of this team because they are a team,” Cronin said. “(They are) easy to coach and made up of hard workers.”
The Crusaders end the season with a 17-6 overall record.
MARANATHA 51, WYLDEWOOD 29
Wyldewood 10 6 10 3 — 29
Maranatha 17 4 15 15 — 51
Wyldewood (fg-ft-tp) — Souza 2-0-4, Gentry 1-3-5, P. Lawson 6-1-15, B. Lawson 2-1-5. Totals 11 5-11 29.
Maranatha (fg-ft-tp) — Cameron 2-1-5, Meier 1-0-3, Wetzel 3-2-9, Thompson 7-0-20, Schulz 2-0-4, Saxon 2-0-5, N. Cina 2-1-5. Totals 19 4-5 51.
3-point field goals — W, P. Lawson (2); M, Meier, Wetzel, Thompson (6), Saxon.