Cornerstone Christian Academy continues magical March, set to make program’s first State appearance

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 11:12 PM CST
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BLOOMINGTON (25 News Now) - Cornerstone Christian Academy is making a name for itself this March. For the Cyclones, it’s been a Cinderella season.

“It’s just amazing,” Jakson Baber, Cornerstone Christian senior forward, said. “It’s very surreal. Kind of at a loss for words kind of.”

Before the season, the Cyclones hadn’t won a regional title. Now, they’re not only regional champs, Cornerstone Christian is making its program’s first appearance at state, a long-awaited goal.

“This was the goal from last year specifically and it’s carried over to this year,” Tate Witt, Cornerstone Christian senior guard, said.

“They’ve been working hard since about 5th grade,” John Schippert, Cornerstone Christian head coach, said. “A lot of them have been together. It’s been a dream of all of them to get to the state finals and we’re making it a reality this year.”

Cornerstone Christian is loaded with senior talent, a group that can lead the offense and set the tone on defense.

“Cornerstone Christian basketball is a defensive-minded first team with a lot of offensive power,” Schippert said. “We are five starters that can handle the ball. They can all shoot.”

The Cyclones are fully embracing their Cinderella name. Cornerstone Christian is excited to play the underdog role and is oozing with confidence headed into Thursday’s State Semifinal game in Champaign.

“Coming from a school that this is the first year we ever won a second game in regional and now we’re playing in state I can understand the name,” Baber said. “I think most of us really enjoy it. We like being the underdogs.”

“We don’t get the publicity from the news and we don’t get a whole lot of recognition,” Schippert said. “That doesn’t surprise me, but we know who we are and we’re confident going in.”

When the Cyclones take the court in Champaign Thursday, they’ll be ready to make some noise.

“I feel like we are playing really well,” Baber said. “I just feel like if we trust in ourselves we’re a dark horse.”

The Cyclones will face Waterloo Gibault Catholic Thursday at 10 a.m. in the semifinal game at State Farm Center in Champaign.