Monday, March 27, 2023

Balanced Huskies cruise past JFK

MIDDLEFIELD—It took Cardinal nearly four minutes to score its first basket in Tuesday’s Cardinal Holiday Tournament semifinal game against Warren JFK.

Once the Huskies broke the seal on the hoop they cruised to a 52-35 win over the Eagles.

“I really thought we played for 32 minutes the right way,” said Cardinal coach Luke Kruse. “I told the girls if they continue to play a game like tonight we’re going to be successful the second half of the season.”

The Huskies, who improved to 5-6 overall, led 13-6 after the first quarter and 26-19 at halftime. They outscored the Eagles, 26-16, in the second half.

“I really thought out of all the games we played they did the best job of following the game plan tonight, listening, knowing where their rotations were defensively and just playing with confidence and trusting each other,” Kruse said. “It was just a solid win for us.”

That win started on the glass.

Kathryn Dhayer, who led the Huskies in scoring with10 points, pulled down 15 rebounds and created several second chance scoring opportunities.

“It wasn’t just the points,” Kruse said. “It was the hard work on defense and doing the gritty things like getting second chances on offense. We had a lot of times and I told them this at half if we continue to get multiple scoring opportunities on our offensive possessions then there is no reason why we wouldn’t win this game and they continued to do that in the second half. From wire to wire it was a well-played basketball game.”

Haley Adams, Delaney Leichtman, Ashley Gubanyar and Allissa Nevison all scored eight points for the Huskies.

“The scoring was spread out and everyone was contributing,” Kruse said. “Alissa stepped in and had a bunch of steals, played great defense and had eight points.”

Gubanyar and Emily Kruse, who scored four points, both returned after missing several games with an injury.

“We did a decent job having two starters out but of course it’s better to be playing with a full deck of cards,” Kruse said. “It’s great to have everybody back. Both Ashley and Emily were extremely important to our game plan tonight. Ashley’s composure from the point guard position making sure our offense gets going is really important to us. It’s fantastic to have her back.”

Maggie Clark contributed with five points for the Huskies, who advanced to Wednesday’s championship game against Garrettsville Garfield, a 76-11 winner over Wickliffe on Tuesday’s first game.

“Garrettsville is a great opponent but I told the girls after the game to enjoy this win but if we play like we did tonight I don’t think we have anything to be scared of,” Kruse said. “I don’t want to be scared of any team we play this year. I think we shot ourselves in the foot with that in the past. These girls are talented and good enough to play with anyone on our schedule. It should be a good game.”


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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