The optimist sees Cardinal’s four returning starters as an advantage for the Huskies while the pessimist focuses on the fact that three of those returners are juniors and the other is a sophomore, leaving the lineup relatively youthful.
Tenth-year head coach Jon Cummins lands somewhere in the middle.
“I am returning four of my five starters from last year,” he said. “Three are juniors and one is a sophomore, so we are still very young. I like the athleticism and the work ethic of our team this year. We have a lot of potential to be very good this year.”
The Huskies finished 8-14 overall last season and 3-5 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division.
Cardinal’s returning depth has allowed Cummins to add even more wrinkles to the game plan, but a later start to the season has provided its own challenges.
“By returning four of five starters from a year ago, it allows me to incorporate new offenses strategies and different types of defenses,” Cummins said. “After getting a late start due to the football playoffs and a couple of extra days off due to the school being closed, I will need to get my team in basketball shape sooner than later. Injuries are always a concern, so if we can stay healthy all season I like our chances in every game.”
Ethan Detweiler, Jake Bean, Paul Gall, and Troy Domen are Cardinal’s returning starters.
Detweiler, a 5-foot-10 guard, Bean, a 6-foot-2 small forward, and Gall, a 6-foot-3 forward, all are juniors.
Detweiler averaged 4.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.9 steals per game as a sophomore. Bean led the Huskies with 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.4 steals per game while Gall scored 8.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.6 blocks per contest.
“Ethan sets the tone for our team every night. He has nonstop energy on both ends of the court,” Cummins said. “Jake is one of the best pure shooters in the area. When he gets going, it’s hard to stop him. Paul is a very skilled forward that can play with his back to the basket and step out and hit the 3-point shot as well.”
Domen is a 5-foot-10 sophomore guard. He averaged 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.9 steals per game as a freshman.
Senior Tony Soltis, a 6-foot forward, is projected to round out the starting lineup. He averaged 1.3 points and 1.8 rebounds per game last season.
“Tony is a hard worker and will impact the game most by his hustle and hard-nosed defense,” Cummins said.
Seniors Trace Filla, a 6-foot guard, and Payden Swiger, a 5-foot-9 guard, juniors Ty O’Brien, a 5-foot-11 guard, and David Baumgartner, a 5-foot-11 guard, and sophomore Aiden Gallagher will provide the Huskies with depth.