After losing two straight games in the fourth quarter, Cardinal finally closed well down the stretch in a 52-45 win over visiting Garrettsville Garfield on Tuesday.
The Huskies entered the game 0-4 with their last two losses by a combined six points.
“It’s a good feeling to finally get a win under our belt after our two prior games, losing one in overtime and the other by three,” said Cardinal coach Jon Cummins. “The kids definitely earned the win tonight.”
Three Cardinal players scored in double figures and the Huskies defended well throughout the game to collect the win.
“I think the kids truly believed they were going to win tonight,” Cummins said. “We were more prepared for Garrettsville than any other team this year. They beat us bad last year without two starters, so we wanted some payback.”
Robbie Mulh paced the Huskies with 14 points, Matt Carney scored 13 and Robbie Bruncak added 12 for Cardinal.
“Rob Bruncak led us in scoring off the bench in the first half with 10 points. Luke Timas had seven points and six assists. He also had the assignment of guarding their best player most of the night,” Cummins said. “Matt Carney had eight of his 13 in the fourth quarter and guarded their best player in the fourth also. He stepped up big for us when we needed him to. Rob Mulh led us in scoring with 14 and 16 boards. He played at another level on the glass tonight.”
As well as the Huskies played on offense, it was the defense that mattered most, especially down the stretch.
“The kids’ communication on the floor was the difference,” Cummins said. “Garrettsville sets a lot of picks in their offense, so we were switching every screen and pressuring the ball on the perimeter. This led to missed shots and easy fast break opportunities on the offensive end. Team defense is what won us the game.”
Hayden Cummins contributed with six points and five rebounds and he tied Carney for the team high with three steals.
Cardinal travels to Fairport Harding on Friday.
Cardinal 52, Garrettsville 45
Garrettsville (3 – 2, 2-1 CVC): Brown 19, Smith 12, Simon 2, Cribblez 2, Workman 7, Pitsinger 3
Cardinal (1- 4, 0-2 CVC): Mulh 12, Bruncak 13, Carney 14, Cummins 6, Timas 7,
Garrettsville 13 10 10 12 — 45
Cardinal 15 11 9 17 — 52
Free throws: Garrettsville 8 of 14, Cardinal 13 of 15; 3-pointers: Garrettsville 6 (Brown 3, Workman 3), Cardinal 3 (Bruncak 2, Timas 1).