Saturday, January 28, 2023

Ailing Huskies take down Black Knights

The flu bug is making the rounds through the Cardinal locker room, which forced head coach Jon Cummins to fill his bench with several JV players for Monday’s non-conference showdown with Newbury.

Leading scorer Luke Timas was playing at less than 100-percent and Robbie Mulh, the team’s second leading scorer and top rebounder, was sidelined with an illness but the ailing Huskies pulled away from the Black Knights in the second half for a 60-44 win.

“We had to mix and match a lot,” Cummins said. “Newbury doesn't have a lot of wins this year but they play hard. They get a lot of 50-50 balls and work hard, taking charges. Their coach does a nice job with these kids as far as getting them prepared and getting them to play hard. They want to win. They only have five or six wins but I can't say enough good things about them. I knew we were going to have our work cut out for us because with Robbie not being out there on the rebounds our guards were going to have to rebound.”

Cardinal led 29-28 at halftime but changed up the defensive game plan in the third quarter and began to pull away with a 12-6 run to start the second half.

“We got up into them a little bit more,” Cummins said. “They were setting some high pick and rolls on us and we were able to hedge that. Our guards were up on the ball handler much more.”

The Huskies outscored the Black Knights 19-10 in the final eight minutes of play.

“It was definitely a team effort across the board,” Cummins said. “Different times, different quarters each guy stepped up and scored. That's kind of the way it's been all season. One guy has a big quarter and gets six to eight points and then another guy scores in this quarter. It's nice to have that option.”


Robbie Bruncak came off the bench to lead the Huskies in scoring with a game-high 15 points on five 3-pointers. He shot 56-percent from behind the arc.

“Robbie did a nice job,” Cummins said. “I brought him in around the middle of the first quarter to try to get some offense going for us.”

Timas finished with 14 points despite seeing less playing time than normal.

“He was playing on fumes,” Cummins said. “Luke played a lot better in the second half defensively and I actually had to put in my freshman, Casey Horner, to give Luke a break. Horner played eight or nine minutes and did a great job of pressuring their point guard.”

Parker Kosh finished with 10 and Brice Hogue scored all eight of his points in the fourth quarter to help the Huskies pull away. Matt Carney also scored eight and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds for Cardinal and Hayden Cummins finished with five points and six rebounds.

“Kosh is usually around 10 points so he did a nice job and Carney had to do a little more rebounding tonight, so he was down there and Hayden did a nice job,” Cummins said. “They have a big guy so it was a matter of keeping him off the glass and boxing him out as much as we could. Brice Hogue is getting there. He had eight points in the fourth quarter. He did a nice job for us there when we scored 19 points in the fourth quarter. That was a lot to do with him. He took his guy off the dribble a lot and got to the basket. He did a nice job for us on both ends of the floor.”

Cardinal improved to 5-12 overall but the Huskies have won three of their last four heading into Tuesday’s non-conference game at Garrettsville Garfield.

Cardinal 60, Newbury 44

Newbury: Puletti 7, Hamby 2, Grubbs 3, Parsons 11, Johnson 13, Mansfield 7

Cardinal: Timas 14, Cummins 5, Kosh 10, Carney 8, Bruncak 15, Hogue 8

Newbury 13 15 6 10 — 44
Cardinal 13 16 12 19 — 60

Free throws: Newbury 4 of 9, Cardinal 11 of 19; 3-pointers: Newbury 3 (Parsons 2, Grubbs 1), Cardinal 8 (Bruncak 5, Kosh 2, Timas 1); JV: Cardinal 47-25

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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