Adriana Naples drained a pair of clutch free throws in the final seconds of Cardinal’s 50-49 nonconference win at Pymatuning Valley.
The host Lakers bounced a game-tying 3-point shot off the backboard and settled for a short jump-shot as time expired.
“It was a back and forth battle for 32 minutes and it feels great to come out on the winning end of a one-point game,” Cardinal coach Luke Kruse said. “PV is a good team and to grab a ‘W’ on the road is a big accomplishment for our squad.”
The game was tied 24-24 at halftime and 37-37 entering the fourth quarter.
It was the Huskies that made the key plays down the stretch to earn the win.
“The difference for us tonight was great man-to-man defense and staying with each other and the game plan through some tough moments,” Kruse said.
Camille Cummins led the Huskies with 22 points and 21 rebounds. She added five steals and a pair of blocked shots.
“Our ball movement led to my success down low,” Cummins said. “I was able to get rebounds and second opportunities to score down low.”
Ashley Gubanyar and Brittni Lawrence both finished with eight points.
Gubanyar also shined on the defensive end in holding Pymatuning Valley senior standout Ashley Hall to just 13 points.
“Ashley held their 25 (points per game) player to 13 and no field goals in the second half,” Kruse said. “It was a heck of an effort on her part.”
With Cardinal leading 48-47, Naples stepped to the line and connected on a pair of free throws to give the Huskies a much-needed three-point lead.
“When I first stepped on the line, I looked right at my teammates and their support alone calmed me down,” Naples said. “I knew I had to make those free throws to secure the win. I did it for my team. We deserved this win and I’m just so happy I could contribute to it.”
The Huskies were just 3-of-8 from the line in the fourth quarter and 7-of-12 for the game, but Naples hit the two most important ones in the closing seconds of the win.
Naples finished the game with six points.
“I just can’t say enough about how proud of their effort I am tonight,” Kruse said. “It was a much-needed boost for our morale.”
The Huskies, who improved to 3-3 overall, travel to Kirtland on Saturday.