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  Hough’s 18 Markers Leads Lady Cards To 45-37 Win Over Boardman  
  December 17, 2020 Edition  
     BY GREG GULAS
      Boardman News Sports
      bnews@zoominternet.net
      Two days after suffering a heartbreaking 43-41 loss to Crestview, the Cardinal Mooney Cardinals girls’ basketball team was the team doing a little heartbreaking of their own.
      Katie Hough scored a game-high 18 points and the Cardinals’ defense weathered a late Boardman rally as CMHS topped the Spartans, 45-37 Saturday night at the Spartans’ Gymnasium.
      It was the first time that the Cardinals’ senior class walked off the Spartans’ hardwood victorious.
      “This is probably one of the best feelings ever because during my four years on the team, we have never won on this floor,” Hough said after the game. “To finally pull it off is a pretty good feeling. We knew that they [Boardman] were going to be a challenge, would come out and play hard so we just had to play harder, work on our execution and get better with our defending.”
      Hough, who scored 13 of her team’s 20 first-half points, enjoys being the go-to player offensively.
      “It feels good knowing that I can be trusted with the ball in my hands and that I’ll execute,” she added. “We stepped up, played more as a team and just came together. We had a fantastic group of girls who came in during the third quarter and they brought some much needed energy for us in the second half.”
      Hough scored five of the Cardinals (1-1) seven first quarter points, offsetting Emma Mills’ two buckets for the Spartans (0-2) to stake Cardinal Mooney to a 7-6 lead after the first eight minutes of action.
      Four buckets by Hough in the second frame helped the Cardinals extend their lead to 18-9 but two buckets by Gia Triveri keyed a 6-2 Spartans run to end the quarter as Boardman cut the deficit to 20-15 heading to the locker room.
      Two free throws and a three-point play by Triveri keyed a 10-0 run by the Spartans to knot the score at 20-all while another Triveri hoop with 3:17 remaining in the third period knotted the game once again, this time at 25-all.
      Three points by Hough, and triples by both Alaina Scavina and Maddie Trimble then keyed a 9-3 Cardinals run as they opened a 34-28 lead heading to the final eight minutes of play.
      “A triple and bucket by Mills with 5:48 cut the Spartans deficit to 36-33 but two hoops by Scavina keyed a game-ending 9-4 run for the Cardinals as they secured their first victory of the season.
      “We’ve missed 17 practices due to the situation that everybody is in right now so our goal is just to get better every time we step on the floor,” Cardinal Mooney head coach Jason Baker stated. “We wanted to cut our turnovers in half, had 26 on Thursday and just 14 tonight but we still have to get in better game shape and I think that will help us making shots.
      “Offensively, I thought we executed phenomenally, especially in the first half to get lay-ups. They just didn’t fall tonight. I think the first thing that must come for us is our execution and kind of get back into game shape. Then we’ll make those shots. I’m not at all worried about that.
      “The staple of our team and program is our half-court defense and I thought that it was really good tonight.”
      The Spartans, who lost their season opener at Marlington, 71-41 back on November 23, were playing their first game in 19 days, hardly a prescription for success for any team.
      Spartans’ first-year head coach Brett Green saw a marked improvement in his team, however, despite the layoff.
      “We’re getting better daily. We’d like to get better than we are but it’s a learning process,” Green noted. “We’re in the gym, we’re out of the gym and everybody is trying to work it out. We’re young, we’re doing a lot of new things as far as our offensive and defensive philosophies, but must stay focused throughout the game.
      “We’re rebounding extremely well right now. We had 17 offensive rebounds so we’re doing a lot of the things that we want to do, things that we work on in practice so it’s just making it whole and putting it all together.”
      Triveri and Mills each finished with 10 points while Raegan Burkey and Katie Stamp added five points apiece for the Spartans.
      Neither team took care of the ball very well with Boardman committing 20 miscues and the Cardinals 16.
 
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