Cardinal’s 66-53 win at Newbury on Thursday basically mirrored the Huskies’ entire regular season.
The Huskies made up for a slow start with a surge in the middle and coasted down the stretch.
“We came out a little sluggish in the first quarter,” said Cardinal coach Jon Cummins. “We didn’t make too many baskets and missed some pretty easy shots. We didn’t play a great first quarter and they hit a buzzer-beater as time expired at the end of the quarter.”
The Huskies, who opened the season 0-4 then reeled off four straight victories and finished the regular season at 11-11, fell behind the Black Knights in the first quarter, 16-12, then outscored Newbury in the second, 20-17, to trail just 33-32 at the break.
“We didn’t play our best game,” Cummins said. “I think it’s just the time of year and the kids kind of took it for granted a little bit. It was a close first half and we were down by one at halftime. They did a nice job with their pressure on us. The kids figured it out and we played a good second half.”
Robbie Mulh, who finished with 18 points, was one of the bright spots for the Huskies in the first half. He pulled down eight of his 16 rebounds in the first quarter.
“That shows you how many missed shots we had,” Cummins said. “He had a lot of offensive rebounds.”
Cardinal outscored Newbury in the second half, 34-20.
Matt Carney led the Huskies with 20 points and Robbie Bruncak also scored in double figures with 11. Parker Kosh contributed with nine and Luke Timas pitched in with six points, eight rebounds, and six assists.
“We’ve kind of done that all year,” Cummins said of the balanced offense. “The problem we’re kind of having right now is Luke Timas’ scoring is down a little bit the last five or six games. That being said, everyone else is scoring a lot more so he’s distributing more. He may not get the assist on the shot but he’s setting the table and allowing everybody to make that second pass. He’s getting a lot of rebounds too and assists and steals. He’s doing a lot of good things out there but he’s a little bit frustrated because he’s not in the book as far as getting a lot of points but it’s all balanced for everybody else. We’re doing a good job of getting everybody else involved and Luke’s doing that.”
Hayden Cummins scored just two points but he pulled down nine rebounds and blocked three shots.
The Huskies now turn their attention to the postseason. They host Brookfield in a Division III sectional semifinal on Tuesday.
Brookfield opened the season with 17 straight losses but the Warriors have since won three of their last four.
“I think what it is for them is they have some younger guys, some sophomores stepping up, and early in the year they kind of didn’t know what their role is and now they’re figuring it out,” Coach Cummins said. “It’s going to be a tough game on Tuesday for us. It’s at home and we usually play better at home so I’m looking forward to playing a tournament game at home. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”