By Joseph Hayes
MARINE CITY — It’s win or go home.
As another postseason begins for the Marine City Cardinal Mooney boys basketball team tonight, the Cardinals are hopeful that the hard work stemming from a challenging regular season is about to pay dividends.
And not just in a small way.
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The Cardinals (13-7) were tested and challenged on a regular basis and they enter the postseason as one of the most battle tested teams in the area.
“I have faith in all of the players I play with,” Cardinal Mooney senior guard Nolan Julio said. “We have always been taught if we get knocked down, we always get back up. We have to come out with defensive intensity, using our hands and collectively, together.”
Cardinal Mooney opens the postseason against Merritt Academy at 6 p.m. today at Deckerville High School and will be a team to watch going forward.
If the Cardinals advance, they would face the winner of the Peck vs. Carsonville Port Sanilac winner (7:30 p.m.), with the two winning teams squaring off on Friday at 7 p.m., back in Deckerville.
“We wanted to play different styles all year,” Cardinal Mooney coach Mike McAndrews said. “When you get into the tournament you are going to see different styles. Teams are going to be primarily zone teams or man teams or pressing teams.
“We wanted to make sure we had looks at all of those types of teams because when you get into the postseason the turnaround and preparation time is very short. Maybe 24 or 48 hours you have to prepare for an opponent. We felt we would be better served to play as many styles as possible to rely on those experiences come tournament time.”
Now the road begins for the Cardinals as they embark on capturing a back-to-back district championship.