Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Huskies come up short at Cuyahoga Heights

Cardinal got off to a fast start in a Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division showdown at Cuyahoga Heights but came up on the short end of the 33-26 final score.

The Huskies led 10-2 after the first quarter but the Redskins responded with a 21-point second to take a 23-15 lead into halftime. Cardinal outscored the Redskins, 11-10, in the second half.

"The team got off to a great start yesterday and jumped out to a 10-2 lead at the end of the first quarter," said Cardinal coach Luke Kruse. "We were flying around in our zone and contesting their shots. Hanna Traggiai hit a couple big threes to give us the early momentum. Unfortunately for us, the wheels came off defensively in the second quarter and we gave up 21 points. They hit a couple tough shots and we got a few rough calls against us, but ultimately we made mistakes that allowed them easy buckets. We cleaned up our defense the second half and only allowed 10 points, but the damage was done and they were able to hold the lead. Three good quarters won't win a game against a quality program like Cuyahoga Heights. We needed all four."

Senior Delaney Leichtman led the Huskies with 10 points.

“Taking the long bus ride out there we knew we had to go in and come out with energy,” Leichtman said. "We tweaked a few things on our defense this week and we were up in the first 10-2. We gave it our all and that's what we were asked to do.”

Leichtman's contribution extended beyond her offensive production.

"Delaney gave a gritty performance," Kruse said. "She refused to roll over the second half, dove on the floor, and knew she needed to attack the basket to keep us in the game. Allissa Nevison also did a nice job on her basket moves and, as always, gave a great effort defensively."

Traggiai and Nevison both scored six points for the Huskies while Camille Cummins and Brittni Lawrence each pitched in with two.

Faith Harwood led Cuyahoga Heights with 10. Brooke Wilson scored nine, Lexi Martin had six, Sarah Kepchar pitched in with four, Emma Lipkowski hit a 3-pointer and Alex Pignatello finished with one point for the Redskins.

The Redskins improved to 8-2 overall and 6-1 in league play while Cardinal dropped to 4-9, 2-4.

The Huskies host rival Berkshire on Wednesday.

"We've had a tough stretch against three pretty good teams, but we have Berkshire Wednesday so need to put it behind and use some of the lessons we've learned to come ready to play," Kruse said. "I have confidence that the girls will be prepared and ready to put it all together."

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Steve Hare
Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, 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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