WARREN — For just over three quarters Friday night, the Youngstown Cardinal Mooney boys basketball team followed the game plan that coach Carey Palermo drew up against host Warren G. Harding.
But the Raiders forced a few turnovers and missed field-goal attempts from the Cardinals, then did what they do best — get up and down the floor.
Harding used a 20-5 closing stretch, including a 12-0 scoring spurt, to pull out a 50-43 victory and improve to 6-4 overall.
“We finally forced some misses, got some rebounds and got the ball up the court, and that’s the way we need to play,” Harding coach Keelyn Franklin said. “I was happy to see us push the pace and stay motivated even when things weren’t going our way.”
After Mike Pelini closed the third quarter with a bucket to give Mooney a 33-30 lead, the Cardinals got a driving bucket from Sonny Rodriguez and Pelini’s 3-pointer from the top of the key to post their biggest lead of the contest at 38-30 just one minute into the fourth period.
The All-American Conference is an OHSAA-sanctioned league, created in 2008 as the result of the merger between the Trumbull Athletic Conference and the Metro Athletic Conference in Ohio. The league has 21 different member schools, with 17 sports offered throughout fall, winter and spring sports seasons.