Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Young Huskies extend season with postseason win

Cardinal’s young basketball might be the feel-good story of the season after the Huskies defeated host Mathews on Wednesday in a Division IV sectional semifinal, 48-30.

After dropping their first eight games of the season, the young Huskies closed out the regular season with five wins in their last 13 games and improved to 6-16 on the season with the upset win over the Mustangs.

“It just makes all the hard work worth it,” said Cardinal coach Kim Domen. “I know it’s not fun for them because they weren’t winning, but this is the type of group that just doesn’t give up, they just keep fighting. This is great for them and I’m extremely happy for them. They didn’t give up and did what they were supposed to do, and the outcome was great.”

Due to low numbers, Cardinal paused its program last winter and returned to the court this season with eight freshmen and three sophomores.

Expectations weren’t high, especially after opening the season with an eight-game losing streak.

A 48-45 victory at Jackson-Milton on Dec. 28 gave the Huskies a taste of success and they went back for more with a 46-35 win at St. John two days later.

With six wins in their last 14 contests, it’s fair to say that varsity experience has helped the Huskies to play more confidently.

A postseason victory is icing on the proverbial cake.

“I think it’s a confidence booster for them,” Domen said. “I think they needed that. They come in every day and do what they have to do. For them, I think it’s just, ‘OK, we’ve got that underneath our belt.’ Now we can move on to the next phase.”

The next phase is a sectional championship game at Chagrin Valley Conference opponent Richmond Heights on Saturday.

Emily Pleva led Cardinal with 21 points in the win over Mathews. Natalie Soltis contributed with eight, Adelyn Grant pitched in with six, Ivy Kaminski scored five, and Nova Young and Olivia Krebs both finished with four.


Steve Hare
Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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