Cardinal Mooney defeated the Salem Quakers, 61-46, last Saturday night before a jam packed crowd at Boardman High School to capture a Div. II district title and earn a berth in quarterfinal regional play in Canton. Mooney, under first-year mentor Brian Danilov, moved to 12-11, while Salem bowed-out at 19-7.
The victory gave the cardinals for their district hoop title since 1998.
The Cardinals engage Warrensville Heights in their opening regional contest. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. at the Civic Center.
Mooney fell behind, 16-8, at the end of first quarter play. With 3:32 left in the second period, the Cards knotted things at 18-18; and finished a 15-3 second quarter surge to claim take a 23-19 lead into the halftime lockerroom.
Third quarter action ended with Mooney holding a 38-33 lead; and at the 6:57 mark of the final stanza, Mooney began to pull away from the Quakers with a 43-33 lead.
Junior guard Joe Cunningham posted a game-high 22 points, including five shots from behind the arc to set the pace for Mooney. Mark Handel posted 14 points, while Doug Caputo finished with 7 markers and 15 caroms. Freshman impact player, Andrew Armstrong finished with a double-double, recording a dozen points and a dozen rebounds.
Ryan Bush led the Quakers with 19 points.
Mooey’s aggressive defensive limited Salem to shots 17 of 55 shots from the field and held a 45-40 margin on the boards.
Mooney lost six of the final eight regular season games, but has stepped it up in tourney play under Danilov, who won a Ohio Div. III championship in 1993 as head coach of the Campbell Memorial Red Devils.
Warrensville Heights enters regional play with a 16-10 mark ad features a freshman, Yavari Hall; and junior, Charles Frankin, in their lineup.