Return of 3 starting guards pave path for improvement once again at Mooney


Michael Pelini led Mooney in scoring last year (17.7 ppg)

Cardinal Mooney Cardinals basketball graphic

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Last season, Mooney topped St. Thomas Aquinas, Warren JFK, Ursuline twice, Linsly and at Poland early in the season before falling to Columbiana (58-47) in the Sectional Final.

The Cardinals suffered through three-straight losing campaigns before Mooney accumulated a 12-12 season last year as they finished in second place behind Chaney in the Steel Valley Conference.

Cardinal Mooney Cardinals
Coach: Carey Palermo
2019-20 Record: 12-12 (3-3, SVC)
Last ranked: #6 in Division III on January 10, 2011
Returning starters: Seniors Thomas Fire and Michael Pelini, and Junior Mick Hergenrother
“The keys for us will be to stay healthy and get better every time we step on the floor,” indicates coach Palermo. “This group has great chemistry and works extremely hard. Since we were given the OK to resume workouts [in June], we’ve had our whole team in the gym. We’ve improved our record each of the last three years, and we expect to do that again.”

The Cardinals return three starting guards who’ve dressed and seen varsity action their freshmen years (Pelini, Fire, Hergenrother).

“They’re three of our four leading scorers from last year,” says Palermo. “Pelini (17.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg) was 1st-team All-SVC and Special Mention All-State. He’ll have a chance to get to 1,000 career points.”

Fire put together a strong junior campaign as he averaged 6.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Hergenrother led the Cardinals in assists (2.3) and steals (1.3) while scoring 4.3 points per game.

“We’ll lean on these three players heavily,” Palermo points out. “We have a talented group of newcomers [Seniors Lawrence Williams and Anthony Ellinos; Juniors Drew Pecchia, Jack Desmond, Jack Pepperney, James Campbell, Zach Hryb, Devonte Miller; Sophomores Jaxon Menough and Alec DelSignore] as all are expected to contribute.”

2019-20 SVC Standings
Chaney – 6-0 (19-6)
Mooney – 3-3 (12-12)
Ursuline – 2-4 (11-14)
East – 1-5 (6-18)

2020-21 Schedule
Cardinal Mooney
Dec. 1 – at Newton Falls
Dec. 4 – at St. Thomas Aquinas
Dec. 8 – Valley Christian
Dec. 11 – Fitch
Dec. 15 – Warren JFK
Dec. 18 – at Boardman
Dec. 22 – Mineral Ridge
Dec. 29 – at Canton Central Catholic
Jan. 5 – Harding
Jan. 8 – at Fitch
Jan. 12 – Chaney
Jan. 15 – at Ursuline
Jan. 19 – Howland
Jan. 22 – at Louisville
Jan. 23 – at West Branch
Jan. 26 – at East
Jan. 29 – at Chaney
Feb. 2 – Ursuline
Feb. 6 – vs. Lake Center (at GlenOak)
Feb. 12 – East
Feb. 13 – Canton Central Catholic
Feb. 16 – South Range

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