Jess Koches scored 17 points and Haley Adams added 15 to lead Cardinal to a 44-31 win at Lakeside on Wednesday.
The win was the second in three games for the Huskies, who improved to 3-10 overall.
“It’s a good feeling for us to get the win tonight. Lakeside is a Division I team and they play a really tough schedule. It definitely builds our confidence going into a couple huge games for us,” said Cardinal coach Luke Kruse. “We have Painesville (Harvey) at home on Saturday and then our big game with Berkshire on Monday. I was hoping we’d get a confidence builder tonight and just play a complete game under control and making good decisions to show what we can do. They did exactly what I asked for and followed the game plan.”
Cardinal led 21-15 at halftime and outscored the Dragons by seven in the second half.
“We had a nice performance tonight,” Kruse said. “It went really well. It was probably our best overall performance of the season. We won every quarter against a pretty big, competitive team. The fact we stayed composed for a full 32 minutes is definitely is a step in the right direction for us.”
Koches and Adams both stepped up in crunch time to seal the Huskies' victory.
“Jess is just continuing with her good offensive performances,” Kruse said. “Both of them made some big shots, especially down the stretch. Haley with her free throws and Jess with some drives that put us over the top.”
Cheyenne Polverine added eight points and Lexy Fenselon was the only other Husky to score. She finished with four points.
Polverine also had six steals.
“She’s always a leader on defense for us,” Kruse said. “That was probably her best offensive game for us. She had a couple really clutch shots at the right time when Lakeside was making us a run to give us some breathing room.”
It hasn’t happened often this season but the Huskies handled everything the Dragons threw at them in an attempt to get back into the game.
“As a team we’ve been working a lot on staying composed under pressure. We haven’t been doing that a lot this year,” Kruse said. “I was really proud when Lakeside brought the pressure and we didn’t panic. We stayed composed and brought the ball up the floor and made good decisions. That was huge for us to get that momentum and confidence builder going into the rest of the season.”
Katherine Dhayer went from being questionable before the game to finishing with three steals and two blocked shots for the Huskies.
“I give her credit. I didn’t know if she’d be able to go tonight,” Kruse said. “She’s been battling a hip injury and she went out as a sub to see what she could do for a minute or two. She looked well and told me she felt good and played a lot of the game probably under a lot of pain. I was really impressed by her performance.”