YOUNGSTOWN, OH – The Cardinal Mooney Cardinals overcame the odds on Friday night. Despite a rough first half against Howland, they would chip down and adjust. Mooney would erase a 25-18 halftime deficit and outscore the Tigers in the second half 25-14 to get the 43-39 comeback win.
Howland would control much of the first half with the post work of John Perry and the sharp three-point shooting of Ben Bronson, as they both led the Tigers with 10 points. They also had athletic prowess from Connor Durig, who plugged in two first-quarter treys and a driving two-handed slam dunk in the second, en route to his 8 points. In the first two quarters, Howland led by as much as ten before going into the locker room up seven.
The Cardinals had to settle in and play their own game in the second half. They would rely on Nick Pregibon to do the dirty work, and he would impress, scoring 11 second-half points to finish the night with a game-high 15. It was a well-balanced effort by Pregibon in that spurt, as he had two important treys, two two-point field goals, and a free throw in the fourth.
Trailing Howland 37-33 late in the fourth, Mooney would storm back for a quick six points to force Howland to pick up quick fouls to give in order to put the Cards in the single bonus. Rocco Turner was sent to the line, and he shined in the clutch, sinking both foul shots to give Mooney a two-possession lead to seal the game. With that effort, Turner would end his night with 8 tallies.
Mooney (8-5) will ride a two-game winning streak going into their home matchup with Salem on Tuesday. The Cardinals bested the Quakers last season in the Salem Holiday Classic 56-37. Howland (6-8) has now lost six straight with another close loss. They will seek their first win since December 30th on Tuesday when they play host to East. The Tigers took down the Golden Bears last year on the road in a good 58-51 contest.
YSN’s Noah Ricks got a chance to speak with Mooney coach Carey Palermo following the come-from-behind win. The full interview can be watched below.
*Contributed By YSN’s Noah Ricks