MIDDLEFIELD—Camille Cummins pulled down 18 rebound to surpass her mother’s school record for rebounds in a single season and Ashley Gubanyar recorded a new school-best 10 assists to Cardinal to a 53-47 win over visiting Grand Valley in a Division III sectional semifinal on Wednesday.
The win was the 12th for the Huskies this season, their most since the 2003 campaign and also was the school’s first postseason victory since the 2011-2012 school year when the eighth-seeded Huskies topped No. 5 Wellington, 44-41.
“Being able to play a home game and being able to win that home game is a real milestone for us as a program that we’re heading in the right direction,” said Cardinal coach Luke Kruse. “We lived to play another game. We’ve got No. 1 seed Champion on Saturday and if we stay focused and stay engaged, I think our girls are definitely talented enough to walk out of Champion and head to districts if we play our best game.”
Cardinal took a 14-11 lead in the first quarter the used a 10-0 run to take a 26-15 lead midway through the second. The Mustangs responded with a 6-0 run to close out the half and scored the first five points of the third quarter to tie the game at 26-26.
Gubanyar’s reverse layup with 3:48 left in the third quarter snapped the Mustang run and ended Cardinal’s nearly eight-minute scoring drought.
Cummins came alive in the fourth quarter as she scored 10 of her game-high 20 in the final eight minutes of play. She also dominated on the glass, which helped the Huskies hold off the Mustangs down the stretch.
“She crushed the all-time single-season record at Cardinal for rebounds,” Kruse said. “She beat her mother’s record so that’s a great accomplishment for her but the stat I was most impressed with Camille tonight was she shot 4-of-4 from the free throw line down the stretch. We really needed those free throws to ice out a Grand Valley team that didn’t want to lose.”
Cardinal took a 38-37 lead into the fourth quarter and, despite losing two starters who fouled out, the Huskies increased their lead to secure their first postseason win in six years.
“It came down to the last three minutes there,” Kruse said. “We turned the ball over a couple times down the stretch but they probably did too, so then it’s just a matter of playing smart and not fouling when you’re in the double bonus. They missed a couple free throws and we made a couple clutch shots down low at the end of the game to give us a little push and we made our free throws at the end, which was huge for us and making a couple key stops to get the W.”
Hanna Traggiai and Brittni Lawrence both contributed to the win with eight points and Gubanyar added seven in addition to her new school record for assists in a single game.
“Her passing led to open looks for her teammates and was a huge factor in helping us get the win,” Kruse said of Gubanyar. “Setting this record speaks to her unselfishness as a player and the ability she has in her role as a point guard setting up her teammates for success.”
Cardinal (12-11) will play at top-seeded Champion on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.