MIDDLEFIELD—Second half rallies are becoming the norm for the Cardinal basketball team.
The Huskies put together a solid second half in a loss at Kirtland on Jan. 7 then rallied to beat Brooklyn in overtime on Friday, and on Tuesday, they erased a 10-point first-half deficit on the way to a 73-51 win over visiting Fairport Harding.
“We learned a lot about ourselves in the second half of the Kirtland game and I keep going back to that. There was a shift there and it helped us to win in overtime on Friday and the same thing tonight,” Cardinal coach James Heath said. “We never got down, we never got really frustrated. We just decided we were going to battle back. We made some adjustments and the guys got into the offensive flow.”
The visiting Skippers got off to a fast start as Justice Bartley hit a pair of 3-pointers and Jorden Cogswell scored five of his team-high 19 in the first quarter as Fairport jumped out to a 17-12 lead.
Cogswell added eight more in the second quarter as the Skippers pushed the lead to 10 points.
Justin Detweiler, who scored a game-high 26, and Casey Horner helped Cardinal climb back into the game as each scored six points in the second quarter, but it was Robbie Granny’s effort under the basket that really made the difference.
“As the first half went along, as we got closer to halftime, I felt that Cardinal was doing a good job of offensive rebounding and we did a poor job of blocking them out,” Fairport coach Matt Cardina said. “They got a lot of second-chance points and that definitely hurt us.”
Detweiler picked up in the third quarter where he left off in the first half and scored seven straight points to give Cardinal its first lead of the game, 37-35.
“Justin had another great game and took what the defense gave him,” Heath said. “I’m real happy with what he’s doing. It’s really helping us to evolve offensively. We told him what the defense was giving him and he rolled with it.”
Cardinal continued to dominate the glass and went on to outscore the Skippers in the third quarter, 20-5.
“That was our best defensive game of the year,” Heath said. “In the second half, on defense, we were just on point. That’s the biggest thing for us. Our offense is OK but I want to win on the defensive end and that’s what we’re starting to do now.”
Horner finished with 15 points for the Huskies and Hunter Schaeffer finished with 12.
Bartley joined Cogswell in double figures as he finished with 10 points but after the hot start, the Skippers struggled to play their game in the second half.
“Our guys are a little bit smaller than theirs and we didn’t handle some of the contact in there to allow us to finish as well,” Cardina said. “We also didn’t rebound on offense as well because there were some opportunities there. Offensive rebounding isn’t a strength of ours but we didn’t get the ball close enough to the rim enough, especially in the half court.”