Sports

Boys basketball: Crosspoint Academy continues to rebuild

Crosspoint Academy guard Chase Estes (11) assumes a leadership role as the Warriors tip off the 2009-10 season. - File Photo
Crosspoint Academy guard Chase Estes (11) assumes a leadership role as the Warriors tip off the 2009-10 season.
— image credit: File Photo

As rain slaps the streets, Crosspoint Academy is hitting the hardwood.

The boys team tipped off practice Monday, the first day of what second-year coach David Kerkhoff believes will be a competitive season.

“We improved as a team from zero wins (in 2007-08) to six wins last year,” Kerkhoff said, referring to the Warriors’ 6-13 record of 2008-09. “More importantly, we were competitive with every team we played. The games were not decided until the last minutes.”

With eight upperclassmen on the roster, including four seniors, the Warriors enter this young season with confidence as well as experience.

The team also is healthy, a luxury it was denied last year when leading scorer Drew McCullough, who has since graduated, missed two-thirds of the season with a leg injury.

But McCullough’s injury forced players such as Chase Estes, Jared Wright and Nick Olson, all of whom return, to step into leadership positions. Those experiences, coupled with the team’s improved defense, figure to pay off when the season begins Nov. 28.

Kerkhoff will look to Estes, a wiry guard/forward who creates plays for himself as well as his teammates, to pick up where McCullough left off.

“Chase is now a senior and is healthy and ready to lead the Warriors,” Kerkhoff said. “We have moved him around a bit this year so he can get the ball in different places on the floor for mismatches. He should be consistent scorer, rebounder and defender for us this year.”

Opponents should expect upbeat, fast-tempo play from the Warriors, Kerkhoff said, but also should be prepared to handle a tenacious defense led by Estes.

“We want to be in charge of both sides of the ball,” Kerkhoff said.

Juniors Austin Hewitt and Josh Kriefels and sophomore Jacye Olson are in the mix for starting positions — the rotation will depend on health and performance at practice — and Kerkhoff is confident in all three.

The 6-foot-2-inch Wright will anchor the Warriors in the post.

“I like their synergy, willingness to play together, sacrifice of self for (the) team and willingness to back each other up on defense,” Kerkhoff said of the lineup. “Also, they all have great attitudes and are having fun.”

Kerkhoff expects the Bear Creek School and Chief Leschi to compete for the Class 2B SeaTac League title, but he also is confident Crosspoint will be in the mix.

The first regular-season game is Dec. 1, when the Warriors host Shoreline Christian at 7 p.m.

“(We want to) be competitive, learn and enjoy the game, enjoy the god-given opportunity to play competitive sports and support one another,” Kerkhoff said of the team’s season goals. “Wins and losses are not the real score. What will mark us is how hard we play and how we enjoy competing.”

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