YOUNGSTOWN Cardinal Mooney holds off Beaver Local
The Cardinals built an early lead and then fought off the Beavers' rally.
By GREG GULAS
YOUNGSTOWN -- David Zidian's 20 points led four Cardinal Mooney High basketball players in double figures Friday in a 66-53 victory over Beaver Local.
The Cardinals (9-3) showed no signs of sluggishness despite a 10-day lay-off. They won for the third time in the last four outings, while the Beavers, ranked 14th in the latest Division II state poll, fell to 10-4, having split their last six outings.
"Both teams are mirror images of each other," Mooney coach Nick Bellino said. "They are almost identical in size, depth and skill, and both are excellent passing teams.
"We built an 11-point lead early, then seemingly stood around and allowed them to peck away," he added. "Desmond Marrow was a key for us late in the game."
Cards jump out early
Buckets by Jeff Hehr and Patsy Daltorio right out of the gate gave the Cardinals a 4-0 lead, which they would hold the entire game.
Ron Stoops had five points, Hehr and Zidian adding four apiece, as Mooney raced to a 15-6 lead just eight minutes into the contest.
Jake Robinson, who had a team-high 18 points for the Beavers, scored eight of his points in the second quarter as Beaver Local closed the period with a 9-0 run to cut the Cardinal lead to 27-25 at intermission.
"It just wasn't our night," Beaver Local coach Mike Solterbeck said. "We haven't played at home since the day after Christmas," he added. "It's no excuse, but it's tough to have any consistency when you are playing in different gyms and not your own."
Beavers within one
Robinson's bucket with five seconds remaining in the third period cut the Cardinal advantage to 43-42, but Marrow's 30-foot shot as time ran out gave Mooney a 46-42 lead with just one period to play.
"Desmond's second-half offensive surge really helped us in that it now gave Beaver Local another man to guard," Bellino said. "Our defense rose to the occasion, especially in the last four minutes of the game."
Steve Mercer, who was the only other Beaver in double figures with 12, then hit a 3-pointer at 3:05 to cut the Cardinal lead to 54-51.
The other three players scoring in double figures for the Cardinals were Hehr (17), Marrow (13) and Stoops (12).