YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Cardinal Mooney boys’ basketball program has competed in the past three district championship games, winning the previous two (2021, 2022) before falling to Lake Catholic last March.

“Expectations are very high,” says coach Carey Palermo. “We return eight players with varsity experience that have played in multiple district finals. We expect to compete and win a tough Steel Valley Conference and [to ultimately] take the next step in regionals.”

The Cardinals will welcome back their point guard Jibri Carter, who scored 7.6 points and dished out a team-best 4.1 assists per game. Mooney also returns three-year starters Ashton O’Brien (13.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and Rocco Turner (10.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg) as well as Eddie Nieves (9.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and Nick Pregibon (6.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg). Will Desmond (2.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg) is also back in the fold along the front line as is 5’9 guard Dom Graziano (2.1 ppg).

Mooney also has a large grouping of newcomers who could contribute this season as well in juniors Nico Genova and Marvin Dubos along with sophomores Dennis Clark, Dante Turner, Kingston Powell, Will Petty and Grayson Dubos.

“Experience is our biggest strength,” Palermo indicates. “We have a number of players that can score the ball and understand their role. Overall toughness is something we take pride in.”

The season begins with a home date against Liberty on December 1.

Cardinal Mooney Cardinals
Fast Facts
Head Coach: Carey Palermo
2022-23 Record: 15-11 (1-5), T-3rd place in SVC
2022-23 Post-Season Finish: Lost in District Final to Lake Catholic

2022-23 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 48.8
Scoring Defense: 45.0

2022-23 Individual Leaders
Scoring: Ashton O’Brien – 13.5
Rebounding: Jaxon Menough – 5.1
Assists: Jibri Carter – 4.1
Free Throw Percentage: Nick Pregibon – 83%
Three-Point Percentage: Eddie Nieves – 42%

2023-24 Schedule
Dec. 1 – Liberty
Dec. 2 – Struthers
Dec. 5 – Warren JFK
Dec. 8 – Fitch
Dec. 12 – at Howland
Dec. 15 – at Canfield
Dec. 19 – Boardman
Dec. 22 – at Campbell
Dec. 29 – Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin
Dec. 30 – at Valley Christian
Jan. 5 – at East Liverpool
Jan. 9 – at East
Jan. 12 – at Ursuline
Jan. 16 – at St. Thomas Aquinas
Jan. 19 – Chaney
Jan. 21 – vs. Chippewa (at Smithville)
Jan. 26 – Canton Central Catholic
Jan. 30 – East
Feb. 2 – at Chaney
Feb. 6 – at Harding
Feb. 9 – Ursuline
Feb. 16 – Hubbard