Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Experienced Huskies aim high

Cardinal enters the 2018-2019 season with a lot of momentum following last year when the Huskies won 12 games, the largest win total for the team since the 2003 season.

The Huskies return four starters, all seniors, and two others with varsity experience.

“Our expectations heading into this season are at the highest they have been in a long time at Cardinal,” said sixth-year head coach Luke Kruse. “The program earned its most wins in a season since 2003 last year, with 12, and we aim to exceed that number this year and also improve our standings in the always tough (Chagrin Valley Conference). We are fortunate to have players that love basketball and want to make this a season to remember.”

The Huskies, who finished 12-12 overall and 5-9 in league play, have the talent, experience, depth and size to make a run both at the CVC Valley Division title and in the playoffs.

“We have a nice balance of size inside with two skilled post players in Camille Cummins and Brittni Lawrence and good ball handling and shooting from the guard positions,” Kruse said. “We can use several different lineups depending on matchups and if we want to press and run the floor or slow the game down and work the ball inside. We have great leadership and a group of seniors that will push the team to achieve at a high level.”

Cummins, a senior forward, returns to the starting lineup after leading the team with 11 points and 13 rebounds per game on the way to earning first team all-league honors. She also recorded 2.8 blocks per contest. She also set new school records in rebounds and blocks in a single season.

“Camille is a relentless rebounder, double-double machine, and talented two-way player,” Kruse said. “After a breakout season last year, teams will make her a key part of their defensive game plan. She will look to take her game to an even higher level this season.”

Lawrence, also a senior, earned CVC honorable mention honors after she dropped in 7.1 points and pulled down 5.3 rebounds per game.

“Brittni’s height and skill in the low-post will be a matchup challenge for team’s lacking height down low,” Kruse said. “She has developed a nice skill set around the basket and can stretch the floor with a reliable jump shot.”

Senior Ashley Gubanyar returns at the point guard position. She averaged seven points and 3.6 assists per game last season in earning honorable mention all-conference honors and also set a school record with six 3-pointers in a single game.

“Ashley is a talented shooter, unselfish passer and an under-appreciated defensive player,” Kruse said. “Her experience and composure at the point guard position is a major asset to our team.”

Senior guard/forward Adriana Naples also returns to the starting lineup. She averaged 3.6 points per contest last year.

“Adriana is the kind of player coaches love,” Kruse said. “She does whatever is asked of her and knows her role within the system.”

Senior guard Annamarie Pollack is projected to round out the starting lineup after averaging four points per game as the first player off the bench last season.

“Annamarie is a great teammate and good shooter,” Kruse said. “She will look to make a name for herself in the starting lineup this season.”

Senior forward Sydney Hahner, junior guards Taylor Soltis and Abby Geesling and freshman guard Haley Domen will provide depth for the Huskies.

“Our challenges this year are to be in a position to win some games against some of the top programs in the area and in our conference that we have not been able to beat the last few seasons,” Kruse said. “We will need to control our turnovers better against teams that like to play fast and pressure us to get ourselves into that position. The team will also need to stay focused over the course of a four-month long season to reach our goals.”

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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