BURTON—Robbie Bruncak scored a game-high 23 points and Matt Carney added 12 to lead Cardinal to a 47-39 win at rival Berkshire on Saturday.
“We wanted to come out and play good defense, that was kind of our key,” Cardinal coach Jon Cummins said. “We mixed up running some 2-3 zone and a 1-2-2 and then as our full-court pressure helped us get some easy buckets. We didn’t come out strong offensively but fortunately, with our defense we weren’t allowing them to get easy baskets as well. Good team defense sparked our offense and that’s how we got going.”
Cardinal led 12-5 after the first quarter and took a 29-21 lead into the break despite a Berkshire run in the second quarter.
“I told them in the locker room before the game, they’re going to go on their runs, how are you going to react after that?” Cummins said. “They went on a run there in the second quarter and we were able to sustain a little bit of a lead and Robbie hit a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter to bump us up to six or eight points. That was key.”
Bruncak scored 18 of his 23 in the first half as the Huskies took control of the game.
Carney and the rest of the Huskies stepped up in the second half to keep the lead. Austin Miller pulled down a team-high eight rebounds and Casey Horner led the Huskies with eight assists and three steals.
“Matt Carney and Rob Bruncak, they’re my two captains and I lean on them a lot,” Cummins said. “When there are problems on the floor they get a little more of an earful than the other ones do because they’re the ones that need to make things happen. When they’re playing well, we play well. Rob had a nice first half and Matt played good in the third quarter. It’s getting everybody else going. When they’re playing well, everybody else does.”
Jake Sinkenbring led the Badgers with 16 points and Jacob Young added 11 but the Badgers couldn’t generate enough offense to battle their way back from their first-half deficit.
“We played well in spurts, we just can’t get that going for four quarters,” Berkshire coach Ryan Dickard said. “We stressed locking down Bruncak and Carney and getting the ball going, getting scores and stops and repeat the process to get back in the ball game. We were doing that at times, we just couldn’t close the gap.”
Cardinal improved to 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division. Berkshire dropped to 0-8, 0-5.
Dickard hopes the Badgers continue to improve and have a much more competitive second run through the league schedule.
“I think we have two more games–Kirtland and Fairport–in the first cycle,” Dickard said. “It will be great to see teams a second time. I think we do a great job learning from our mistakes so that second time around, we should be right there and get over the hump.”
Cardinal 47, Berkshire 39
Cardinal: Bruncak 23, Carney 12, Hogue 2, Horner 4, Miller 5, Granny 1
Berkshire (0-8): Young 11, Kastor 2, Sell 4, Sinkenbring 16, Hansen 4
Cardinal 12 17 7 11 — 47
Berkshire 5 16 9 9 — 39
Free throws: Cardinal 10 of 19, Berkshire 2 of 6; 3-pointers: Cardinal 5 (Bruncak 5), Berkshire 5 (Young 3, Sinkenbring 2)