Huskies reach a milestone in win over Fairport

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Cardinal Girls Basketball

With a 77-30 win over visiting Fairport Harding on Saturday, the Cardinal girls’ basketball team reached 11 wins in the regular season for the first time since 2002-2003.

The Huskies have three games left to play but can finish off the regular season no lower than .500 for the first time in nearly two decades.

“I think the record is a testament to the work we have put in the last few years,” said Cardinal coach Luke Kruse. “The girls are really playing with some confidence. We have three tough games left and I think we can compete in every one of them. It would be great to get a couple of them to be sure we get a winning record but all we can do is prepare and work as hard as we can to put ourselves in position to win a couple of those games down the stretch.”

Hanna Traggiai, who scored 10 points, pulled down eight rebounds and recorded seven assists and six steals, is one of the team’s only two seniors and she’s relieved to close out her career with at least 11 wins.

“I couldn’t be any more grateful to be a part of this winning season, especially as a senior,” Traggiai said. “My teammates are some of my best friends and I’m so glad I get to share this with them. We haven’t had packed stands at every game, but there have been a handful, and it’s such a wonderful atmosphere to play in.”

Cardinal’s turnaround was sparked by a 5-0 start to the year and by winning the close games they typically lost in the past.

“The 5-0 start obviously put us in a real good position,” Kruse said. “The girls are prepared each night to not have those letdown games. They are beating the teams they should beat and they’re competing against some of the better teams.”

The Huskies also have a more balanced lineup.

Against the Skippers, five different players scored in double figures.

Brittni Lawrence and Annamarie Pollack both scored a game-high 17 points while Ashley Gubanyar pitched in with 13, Camille Cummins added 11 and Traggiai finished with 10.

Sydney Hahner contributed with four points and Lauren Dines and Adriana Naples finished with three and two, respectively.

“The scoring was very balanced,” Kruse said. “We only had nine girls dressed because we had some girls sick and out of town, but everyone played and everybody even scored, which is kind of special. One of the freshman girls who hasn’t scored in her career on varsity got to make a free throw. We had five players in double figures, which hasn’t happened before, so the girls are playing with a lot of confidence.”

Cummins led the Huskies with 20 rebounds.

Cardinal improved to 11-8 overall and 5-6 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division. The Huskies travel to Cuyahoga Heights on Wednesday then host rival Berkshire on Saturday. They close out the regular season at Independence on Feb. 14.

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. 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.