Cardinal Mooney tops Harding

Tribune Chronicle / Brian Yauger Conchetta Rinaldi of Cardinal Mooney makes a pass during the Cardinals’ 60-43 win over Warren G. Harding on Saturday.

WARREN — The Warren G. Harding Raiders fell victim to a strong Cardinal Mooney team, losing 60-43 in a non-conference girls basketball game Saturday afternoon.

“I told them, ‘That’s a very good Mooney team and if we don’t come out and play inspired, that something like that can happen’,” Harding coach Frank Caputo said. “We just didn’t have that energy on defense, and we didn’t have very good communication tonight.”

Mooney’s win gives the Cardinals an 8-3 record, and a bounce-back after falling to Poland on Thursday.

“I’m really proud of the way we bounced back from a tough loss Thursday night,” Cardinals coach Jason Baker said. “We played really well together. Defended well together and that was just a good team win today.”

Caitlin Perry led the Cardinals with 15 points. Perry was one of three Cardinals scoring in double-digits, with Conchetta Rinaldi scoring 13 and Katie Hough scoring 12.

Tribune Chronicle / Brian Yauger Kamarah Bender of Harding dribbles down the court as Cardinal Mooney's Camden Hergenrother defends.

Diamond Phillips led the Raiders (8-2), scoring 12 points, and is making an impression on her coach by stepping into a leadership role as a sophomore.

“Diamond played pretty well,” Caputo said. “I know she won’t think she did because that’s the type of girl she is. She’s going to continue to keep progressing and getting better.

“Being a sophomore, she’s kind of taken that leadership role in our offense, and each game she’s going to learn more and more, and just keep working and getting better.”

Phillips was the lone double-digit scorer for the Raiders, who won the Sharon Holiday Tournament over the holiday break. Nalida McQueen scored eight, Indea Phillips scored seven, and the pair of Gia Green and Kamarah Bender both scored six.

Harding had a strong second quarter of 15 points, but couldn’t keep the scoring going, only scoring 10 and nine in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. Scoring was an issue for the Raiders Saturday, with their 43 points falling well below the season average of 64.3.

“We couldn’t find the hole tonight,” Caputo said. “You’re not always going to be on, so we’re hoping to get some crashing and some rebounding. So, we’re going to make a couple adjustments with playing time and things of that nature and find the girls that want to get after it.”

The Cardinals return home to take on Chaney, and look to keep their wins coming.

“I feel great,” Baker said. “I felt all along that we have a really talented group of kids that work really hard. I feel really good.”

Harding heads into All-American Conference Red Tier play vs. Canfield.

“We’ll change some things up at practice here coming up,” Caputo said. “We just have to find that person who can get us in something when we’re being stagnant on offense and find us a bucket, so we can get the defensive energy we need.”