GIRLS Maloney hits 18 to lead Mooney
The Cardinals' defense shut down Warren JFK in a 44-36 win.
By GREG GULAS
YOUNGSTOWN -- Megan Maloney scored a career-high 18 points Monday as the Cardinal Mooney High girls basketball team defeated visiting Warren Kennedy, 44-36.
"We pride ourselves in our defense and that was one of the keys to our victory," Cardinals coach Roy Nard said.
"Last year, we were 11-11 and allowed opponents just 47 points a game so I am really pleased with that aspect of our game thus far," Nard said. "Right now, I would have to say that our defense has been excellent.
"Offensively, however, we'd like to get more players into the flow of the game."
The Cardinals fell behind 6-4 early, but a three-point play by Aieshya Dixon at the 4:22 mark of the opening period gave Mooney (2-1) the lead for good.
Double-double: Dixon, fighting off the flu bug, recorded a double-double as she scored 12 points and grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds.
That effort came on the heels of a triple-double she registered last Friday against Canfield when she had 22 points, 18 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.
"You have to remember that Aieshya was down most of the summer with a cast on her shooting hand," Nard said. "That lost time in the summer has her playing catch-up now. She is not where she wants to be, but with her work ethic has her well on her way to midseason form."
The Cardinals posted a 12-0 run for a 19-8 lead. A 3-pointer by Jen Burin ended the Eagles' drought that lasted 7:57.
"We were too inconsistent with our play," Kennedy coach Denise Smith said. "Scoring just six points in both the first and third periods just doesn't get it done. You can't win a game with those kinds of numbers."
The Eagles (2-2) encountered another scoring drought in the third period, scoring just three buckets to trail 33-22.
Costly turnover: Burin's basket in the lane reduced the Mooney lead to 41-36 but a costly turnover after stopping the Cardinals on their ensuing trip down the court proved too much to overcome.
"Warren plays awfully hard," Nard said. "They threw four presses at us tonight and we were able to score on all of them. When we are patient and take our time, good things happen for us."
On the reverse side of the coin, Smith is hoping for improved play from her team.
"Turnovers sure didn't help us tonight," she said. "Bad passes and mental errors really hurt us."
The Cardinals made 16-of-42 field goal attempts while the Eagles managed to make just 13-of-51 (25.4 percent).
The Cardinals out-rebounded JFK 38-24. Anastasia Vouvalis joined Dixon in double-digit rebounds with 10 while Sarah McNeil led the Eagles with eight.
Lori Patrone and Natalie Damiano added seven and five assists, respectively, for the Cardinals.