Thursday, August 18, 2022

Huskies ground the Bombers

In year’s past, Cardinal’s girls’ basketball team struggled to bounce back from a loss. One setback often turned into long losing streaks that doomed the Huskies’ season.

This year, the Huskies have a new attitude and a belief that together they can accomplish anything and it showed as they shook off Monday’s loss to Pymatuning Valley with a dominating 53-15 nonconference win at Windham on Thursday to improve to 6-1 on the year.

“No one was satisfied with how our game on Monday against PV went, but at practice Tuesday all the girls took turns sharing a lesson they learned from the loss to make us better moving forward and I think that carried over,” said Cardinal coach Luke Kruse. “We also put in a new drill at practice Tuesday and Wednesday to specifically work on better ball movement and more precision passing, which seemed to pay dividends. We responded to the loss the correct way as a team, not by dwelling on the negative, but by fixing our mistakes and getting better. The outcome was a big win on the road over Windham with the best ball movement and passing we’ve had all season.”

Cardinal took control early as the Huskies built a 17-4 first quarter lead and led 29-10 at halftime.

The Huskies allowed just eight second half points.

“We finally had a game where everything clicked for us for nearly a full 32 minutes,” Kruse said. “The girls were getting a lot of stops defensively and we held Windham to just four made field goals all game. Our shots were also dropping, which gives everyone a positive energy to work harder on both ends of the floor. The main key going into the game was, knowing they were a zone team, great ball movement from side to side to break it down.”

Hanna Traggiai led the Huskies with 15 points and also recorded six steals and three assists.

Her three 3-pointers in the third quarter put the game out of reach.

“Today’s game marked a point in our season where we would either overcome adversity together or just roll over for the rest of the season,” Traggiai said. “Coming in with a ‘bounce back mindset’ was exactly what we needed. Not only did we bring that, we came out on top, and in turn restored our confidence. Facing a 2-3 zone all game forced us to play patiently and to focus on our precision passing; two parts of the game that rely heavily on a team effort. We once again found our team chemistry, and have all the faith we need in each other as we prepare for Saturday’s tough matchup (against Kirtland). I truly believe we’re on our way to great things; I can’t wait to see what the rest of this season brings.”

Ashley Gubanyar and Camille Cummins also scored in double figures for the Huskies.

Gubanyar scored 13 points with a team-high six assists and she also recorded three steals.

“Everyone was playing very unselfish on the offensive side, making a lot of great passes and not settling for an okay look but for a great look,” Gubanyar said. “On defense, we all did a great job of laying out for loose balls and not giving easy looks, which resulted in a lot of steals.”

Cummins recorded her seventh straight double-double of the season with 12 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. She also recorded a team-high seven steals and two blocked shots.

Brittni Lawrence contributed with six points and five rebounds.

“Every player, 1-10, made a positive contribution tonight with their unselfish passing and positive attitudes,” Kruse said. “It was a true team win tonight.”

The Huskies host Kirtland on Saturday.

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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