Cardinal opened the 2017-2018 season with four straight non-conference wins.
On Wednesday, the Huskies opened the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division portion of its schedule with a 48-45 win over visiting Hawken.
“Getting a conference win to start the CVC schedule was big for us,” said Cardinal coach Luke Kruse. “Before the game, we talked about how we are now 0-0 in conference play and this was a chance to prove ourselves. Hawken is a quality program with an outstanding player in sophomore Carly Perusek. We threw a bunch of defensive looks at her and she still finished with 20, so it was about limiting her ability to get easy looks and playing good help (defense).”
Cardinal jumped out to a 15-5 first quarter lead and the Huskies needed every bit of that early advantage as the Hawks rallied back in the second to pull to within 24-17 at halftime.
The Huskies took a 39-31 lead into the fourth quarter and rallied back after Hawken took the lead late in the contest.
“Hawken made a nice run where Perusek made some tough shots, but we gathered ourselves and took advantage when they took the lead and fell back into a zone by moving the ball around and being patient,” Kruse said. “We limited our turnovers down the stretch, were able to run a little clock, and (Camille Cummins) made a tough layup under the hoop to give us the edge. Hawken had a chance to tie at the end and we were able to keep the ball out of Perusek’s hands to secure the ‘W.’”
Cummins led the Huskies with 12 points and also pulled down a team-high 15 rebounds. It was her fifth straight double-double of the season.
“Camille double-doubled again and we needed every point and rebound she gave us tonight,” Kruse said. “To do that while we also assigned her the tough task of guarding Perusek means she must be exhausted. I had to keep CC on her almost the whole game due to our other best on-ball defenders getting into early foul trouble.”
Ashley Gubanyar chipped in with 11 points and a team-high six assists. Brittni Lawrence finished with a career-high 10 points.
“Having my teammates look in the paint and notice my size advantage really helped me get the ball to the basket and even be fouled at times,” Lawrence said. “Having my own confidence, along with my team’s confidence, helped me contribute what I could.”
Adriana Naples contributed with six points and Annamarie Pollack finished with five. Hanna Traggiai and Virginia Travers both scored two points for the Huskies.
“The girls are really playing as a team,” Kruse said. “Adriana stepped up big for us by making some key shots in the first half and Brittni did a nice job passing and scoring out of the post and also made 4-of-4 on her free throws. The girls know what skills they bring to the table and are excelling in their roles right now. We are going to enjoy a rare weekend off and get ready for Pymatuning Valley on Monday.”