Sometimes less is more.
Cardinal coach Jon Cummins played just seven players in Tuesday’s non-conference game against visiting Grand Valley. Five of them scored in double figures to lead the Huskies to a 72-60 win.
Jake Francis led the way with 17 points, Robbie Muhl scored 13, Craig Kaser had 12 and both Andrew Miller and Luke Timas contributed with 11. Cody Naftzger added six points in the win.
“We came out and played really, really well,” Cummins said. “I was happy with as hard as the kids came out and played from the get-go. They were ready to play.”
Cardinal (2-0) managed to find seams in Grand Valley’s zone defense in the first half to take a 38-23 lead into the locker room.
The Mustangs changed things up in the second half, which allowed them to climb back into the game. Cardinal led just 49-45 after three quarters.
“We knew Grand Valley was a pretty athletic team. They’re long. They have a really lanky team and they do a good job of cutting off our passing alleys and lanes with their length. They actually went into a zone in the first half. We were able to do OK with that,” Cummins said. “In the third quarter they went into a trapping, full court zone press. It took us half that quarter to figure it out. That’s why it cut into the lead a little bit.”
Through two games, the Huskies are averaging over 62 points per game.
Kaser’s ability to find the open shooter has played a big role in that early success.
“Craig really controlled the game for us,” Cummins said. “He did an excellent job of getting into the lane and getting some nice dishes to our two big guys. Jake Francis had about eight field goals. He was right next to the basket because Craig just put them on a plate right for him and he laid it in. He did an excellent job running the show out there.”
Muhl came off the bench to ignite the Huskies with nine points in the second quarter.
“He shot really well,” Cummins said. “He did an excellent job coming off the bench for us. He played really well.”
Hayden Cummins scored two points for the Huskies, who travel to Chagrin Falls on Friday.