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Boys Basketball Season Preview: Cardinal Huskies 2023-2024

MIDDLFIELD OH- Coming fresh off 15-9 season and 2nd place in the CVC under head coach John Cummins, the Huskies were forced to turn the page. When they flipped it, Kyle Deckerd was hired to take the reigns. With the only returning starter from a season ago being now senior Troy Domen. In 3 years of being the starting point guard for Cardinal, Troy has averaged 13.7 P/G - 4.8 Ast/G - 4.5 Reb/G - 3.5 Stl/G on 38/29/65 shooting splits. Domen finished with 17 games over 10 points, scoring 21 points 3 times. Wins over Crestwood (21 pts on 7/10 shooting) and Fairport (21 points on 8/18 shooting), followed by a loss to Dalton (21 points on 8/14 shooting) in the tournament. He lead the CVC in steals per game (3.2). With his offensive and defensive ability ready to take a leap forward with it being his 4th year starting varsity, it's time for a new supporting cast.

Dominic Naples is the only other returning letter winner for Cardinal. Naples is now in his junior season along with fellow junior Cal Ciminello. Ciminello's best performance of the season came in a 79-53 tournament win over St. Johns where Cal finished with 4 points, 4 rebounds & 4 assists to go with 3 steals on 67% shooting. Naples notable output came in the same game as he ended with 4 points & 3 rebounds on 100% shooting. Despite the small sample size between the two of them, Dom and Cal are ready for the varsity stage heading into there junior years and will undoubtedly be key players to go along side Domen.

To fill out the rest of the team would be center Clayton Cochran, guards Blake Strever & Chuck Soltis to go along with forwards Carter Tucker, Austin Jones and Carter Sindelair. A younger Huskies group then in years past as far as varsity experience goes and a promising future ahead for Cardinal. Coach Deckerd feels as if the boys team is similar to Coach Kim Domens girls team in the sense of lack of varsity experience. With all that in mind Deckerd and the Huskies kick their season off on December the first with a road bout against the Wolverines of West Geauga. Their first CVC Valley Division contest will come on the road against the Kirtland Hornets who are the defending CVC champs on December 9th. In years past when the Huskies would meet with Grand Valley and Crestwood the games always seemed to have that playoff feel with being in conference rivals.

Two key early season games for the Huskies will come on December 20th as they host the Red Devils, and on the 6th of January they will travel to Orwell to do battle with the Mustangs. Just days later will be the highly anticipated matchup of the Berkshire Badgers and the Cardinal Huskies. Cardinal won 3 of the last 4 matchups with the Badgers and will look to continue that roll as they host Berkshire on January 9th. 3 days later they wrap up their season series against Kirtland. They end the first month of 2024 with a road trip to Mantua to clash with Crestwood for the final time before hosting the Mustangs on February 2nd. The final CVC game of the year for Cardinal will come against the Badgers in a road contest on the 9th. Coach Deckerd and company will end the season with a road trip to Fairport to do battle with the Skippers on the 16th of February. The past two seasons have seen trips to the 2nd round of the playoffs for the Huskies, so let's see what they have in store for this year.



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