Johannesburg - Lewiston Varsity & JV Boys Basketball


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Junior Varsity & Varsity Basketball 2018-19

J.V. Results
Varsity Results
Nov. 27
5:30 PM
W 45-32
L 59-56
Nov. 29
6:00 PM
W 69-29
Dec. 3
5:30 PM
L 74-46
L 77-68 OT
Dec. 7
5:30 PM
W 46-37
W 63-62
Dec. 10
5:30 PM
W 54-36
W 82-60
Dec. 12
5:30 PM
W 53-34
L 67-62
Dec. 14
5:30 PM


W 53-16
W 50-40
Dec. 19
5:30 PM
W 55-37
W 71-48
Dec. 21
5:30 PM
W 55-18
W 59-46
Jan. 9
5:30 PM
W 55-15
L 40-39
Jan. 11
5:30 PM
W 65-23
W 81-51
Jan. 18
5:30 PM


W 43-33
W 66-42
Jan. 24
5:30 PM


Jan. 29
5:30 PM


Jan. 31
5:30 PM


Feb. 5
5:30 PM


Feb. 7
5:30 PM
Feb. 12
5:30 PM


Feb. 14
5:30 PM


Feb. 19
5:30 PM


Feb. 25
Feb. 27
Mar. 1

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Cardinals get much-needed win at Onaway
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor

The Johannesburg-Lewiston boys basketball team got the bounce back it needed Friday night.

Behind Carlos Gascho's 17 points, the Cardinals topped host Onaway 81-51 in Ski Valley play. Tyson Claeys also scored 16 points and grabbed 26 rebounds.

They entered the game following a close-call loss to Inland Lakes.

"We were more patient on offense and ran in transition," J-L coach Troy Huff said. "We came out with more of a purpose after Wednesday night's game, and the kids really figured a few things out."

Sheldon Huff added 13 points and eight assists, followed by Tanner Shimel and Joey Chrencik with 10 points apiece, Matthew Davidson with nine and Tyler Madej with six.

"We came with some fire tonight," Coach Huff said. "It was a lot of run and gun."

The Cardinals (7-4, 5-2 SVC) host rival St. Mary for a conference game Friday, Jan. 18.

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Cardinals suffer loss to Bulldogs after weird finish to game
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor

That's not the way you want to come back from winter break.

The Johannesburg-Lewiston boys basketball team led for most of the game, but it had a handful of snafus that kept it from pulling out a win in Ski Valley play Wednesday at Inland Lakes.

Tanner Shimel fouled a Bulldog with 3.4 seconds, allowing Inland Lakes to take the lead 40-39, which wound up the final score.

Tyson Claeys had a shot to win the game for the Cardinals on the ensuing possession, as Inland Lakes fouled the senior immediately after making the winning free throws. Claeys missed both foul shots in the double bonus.

Earlier in the game, however, the game got a little weird, J-L coach Troy Huff said. Tyler Madej left the game with five fouls late in the fourth quarter. The only problem was he had only four. A scorebook error kept him from staying on the floor.

Then, with 1:08 left, the scoreboard operator forgot to start the game clock and the referees never stopped play to run off the 20 or so seconds the ball was actually in play. Huff was certain the Cardinals would have hung on to their lead had that time been run off the clock.

"It was really tough, actually," said Huff, whose Cardinals dropped to 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the SVC. "But, honestly, we're a better team than that. We were up nine at one point. We can't let other teams hang around like that."

Claeys scored 15 points for the Cardinals, who shot just 10 of 19 from the foul line and 30 percent from the floor. Shimel added seven points, Sheldon Huff had six, Madej finished with five and Carlos Gascho pitched in four.

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J-L Tyson Claeys GHT Photo

Cardinals beat Bellaire behind offense from Claeys, Gascho
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor

Tyson Claeys and Carlos Gascho each scored 16 points, and the Johannesburg-Lewiston boys basketball team topped visiting Bellaire 59-46 in Ski Valley play Friday.

"We just were patient and getting good looks and not forcing shots," coach Troy Huff said. "We were getting good looks by making that extra pass."

The Cardinals, who led 31-12 at halftime, shot 11 of 14 from the foul line. They received nine points, five assists and three steals from Tanner Shimel, while Claeys pulled down eight rebounds.

Sheldon Huff pitched in eight points, followed by Tyler Madej with six and Gavin Weaver and Joey Chrencik with two apiece.

Bellaire made five 3-pointers in the second half during a comeback attempt.

J-L is 6-3 overall and is tied with Pellston atop the SVC standings at 4-1 in the conference.

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Davidson, Chrencik ignite Cardinals off the bench
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor

Wednesday was all about getting the Johannesburg-Lewiston boys basketball team's bench some confidence.

The Cardinals (5-3, 3-1 SVC) blew past host Forest Area 71-48 in Ski Valley play, getting 18 points from Tyson Claeys, 13 from Tanner Shimel and 12 from Carlos Gascho – each a starter.

But Matthew Davidson and Joey Chrencik entered the game off the bench and each played meaningful minutes for the first time this winter. Davidson finished with a career-best eight points, Chrencik added six and even Gavin Weaver pitched in two.

"It was nice to get good minutes out of Matthew and Joey," coach Troy Huff said. "Matthew played with a lot of fire and heart, which I haven't seen that out him yet, which was nice to see. Joey was knocking down his little jumpers, too. With the length Joey has, getting him these minutes will pay us dividends for both the rest of the year and next year as well."

J-L's other two starters, Tyler Madej and Sheldon Huff, scored eight and four points, respectively.

The Cardinals led 41-12 at halftime.

"We moved the ball as well as we've moved it all year, especially in transition," Coach Huff said.

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Pellston outlasts Cardinals in key early-season SVC matchup
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor

PELLSTON — The Johannesburg-Lewiston boys basketball team is now one game back in the Ski Valley race.

The defending conference champions lost to host Pellston 67-62 on Wednesday. The Hornets outlasted the Cardinals in the final eight minutes to steal the win.

“Our offense just stalled at the wrong time,” coach Troy Huff said. “We resorted to fouling at the end, and they (Pellston) just hit their free throws. We had just too many turnovers tonight.”

Tanner Shimel, who finished with 20 points and was 4 of 9 from downtown, made a 3-pointer late in the third to give the Cardinals their first lead.

J-L’s lead got as big as four points in the fourth, with Tyler Madej scoring seven of his nine points in the period. But his team couldn’t make the front end of their free throws in the bonus to put away the game.

Pellston regained the lead with under three minutes left. Tanner Byard (34 points) was 6 of 6 from the foul line down the stretch, while Blake Cassidy (24 points) was 2 of 2, to help the Hornets, who improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference.

“Down the stretch, we’ve got to learn how to finish,” Huff said. “They were a disciplined teamed that could shoot the 3, so we’ve got to know who the shooter is and where the help on defense is going to come from.”

Carlos Gascho added 17 points for the Cardinals (3-3, 1-1 SVC), who host Central Lake for a league game Friday, Dec. 14. They’ll need to regroup quickly, as the Trojans upset them a year ago at home.

“Right now, we’ve just got to come out Friday and play our style,” Huff said. “We’ve got to take care of the ball because Central Lake has had our number the past couple of years.”

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Claeys, Huff notch double-doubles as J-L downs Ellsworth
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor

The Johannesburg-Lewiston boys basketball played well Monday against Ellsworth.

Yet the Cardinals still haven't quite found their groove, coach Troy Huff said.

"We still haven't found that groove where all of us are stroking at the same time," said Huff, whose team beat the Lancers 82-60 in non-conference play. "Like with Tyler, I'm anxious to see how we can get Tyler Madej going. We've got to somehow get him going the same night as these other guys are playing good."

Tyson Claeys led the Cardinals with a double-double (24 points, 10 rebounds), while the senior was 11 of 14 shooting inside the paint. Sheldon Huff, who scored nine points in the opening quarter to give J-L a 21-15 lead, also recorded a double-double, finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Carlos Gascho (13 points, seven assists and four steals) also played well for the Cardinals, who improved to 3-2 overall. Tanner Shimel added 10 points.

"We just ran in transition, used our dribble-drives and cut to the basket," Coach Huff said. "Tyson was quite the physical presence underneath, and we were up by 20 early in the third quarter. I'm pretty happy with how we shot the ball as a team. We shot really well."

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Cardinals' Claeys sinks game-winning free throws vs. Mancelona
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor

The Johannesburg-Lewiston boys basketball team trailed Mancelona all game Friday.

That was, of course, the Cardinals raced up the floor with 11 seconds left, fed the ball to Tyson Claeys in the post and then Mancelona sent the senior power forward to the foul line. Claeys buried both free throws, helping J-L edge the visiting Ironmen 63-62 in Ski Valley play.

Mancelona, which led by as many as 12 points, had six seconds left to drum up a game-winner but couldn't get off a good attempt.

"It was just one of those games where whatever they (Mancelona) put up, they made, and we just couldn't get many shots to fall," coach Troy Huff said. "We just didn't shoot well from the floor, nor could we shoot free throws well (16 of 33).

"So I'm pretty happy with how it all finished. We worked the ball around there at the end. They had two kids who fouled out, so I told our guys to be patient. We just weren't being as patient as we typically are on offense for most of the game."

Tanner Shimel, who scored 14 points, made a layup to trim J-L's deficit to just 62-61 late in the fourth.

Claeys finished with a team-high 15 points, followed by Carlos Gascho with 10, Sheldon Huff with nine and Tyler Madej with six.

Gavin Weaver put together his best varsity game yet, scoring nine points.

"I got really good minutes with Gavin tonight," Coach Huff said. "He played, really really well."

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Cards finish with only 4 on the floor in OT loss at Roscommon
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor

The Johannesburg-Lewiston boys basketball team finished with just four players on the court Monday at Roscommon.

Foul trouble marred the Cardinals, who lost to the Bucks 77-68 in overtime, despite Tanner Shimel scoring a career-best 31 points.

The Cardinals (1-2) held a two-point lead in the final minute of regulation. They wound up forcing a quick shot, and Roscommon took the ensuing rebound the distance to knot the score, 61-61.

J-L, which hosts Mancelona to open Ski Valley play Friday, Dec. 7, had one final chance to win the game before overtime, but Sheldon Huff (eight points) couldn't draw a foul, despite being shoved out of bounds.

Tyson Claeys added 19 points, while starter Tyler Madej sat most the game with foul trouble.

"We traded a couple of baskets in overtime, but we got into foul trouble early," J-L coach Troy Huff said. "I knew we were going to be going into it. We kept fouling them, Roscommon would make one of their two free throws (in the bonus), and that's just how it went."

Carlos Gascho chipped in five points, while Gavin Weaver scored three. J-L shot 52 percent inside the 3-point line.

"We played really, really good defense," Coach Huff added. "We played full-court defense and got some steals off it.

"It was a very physical game, but we played through it and played extremely well. I wish we could have gotten more calls to go our way, but that happens. We just needed to find a way to win, but it's hard when guys like Tyson finish 5 of 12 from the floor. He doesn't ever miss too many shots."

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Two sophomores

Gascho, Huff stepping up for Cardinals as only sophomores
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor

OHANNESBURG — With the three seniors Johannesburg-Lewiston's boys basketball team returned this winter — Tanner Shimel, Tyson Claeys and Tyler Madej — the Cardinals knew they'd be able to compete every night.

But what will likely take them from a Ski Valley contender to a champion are their two sophomores, Sheldon Huff and Carlos Gascho. Coach Troy Huff platooned the duo as the sixth man last year, which yielded some success. But he knows he needs them to be key contributors as starters this season.

The two played great in their season-opening loss to Mio, but they took the next step in their win Thursday at Fairview. Sheldon Huff, alone, scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, putting together a career game.

"Being in the starting role, it's a faster pace," said Coach Huff, Sheldon's father. "I can't say enough about them. I did stress one thing with them, though. I said, 'Don't change your shots. Attack the basket like you've done 100 times and don't be afraid to shoot your shot.'"

The transition from bench player to starter hasn't been too bad for the boys.

Sheldon Huff started on the football team and was the defense's leading tackler. He helped the team win a Northern Michigan Football League-Legacy title and make it to Round 2 of the Division 8 playoffs.

Gascho won both Ski Valley and D4 regional titles in cross-country this past fall, even finishing in the top 10 of the D4 state championship in November.

So the spotlight isn't too bright for Huff and Gascho.

"The game wasn't as quick as I remembered it, but we'll keep working to get better," Sheldon Huff said. "Along as you get it done, that's all that matters. We want less turnovers and want to try to get everyone involved in the game.

"But none of us care about points. We just want to wins."

Now the two are looking to transition their varsity leadership in other sports to the basketball court.

"Sheldon is a good ballplayer, and he's a good athlete in general," Gascho said. "He's stepping up pretty well. We're both strong enough, and we're both mentally strong and physical. We've just got to step up to the plate and do what we need to do to fill in for (former players) Timmy LaPointe, Caesen Campbell and Kyle May."

Although Sheldon Huff spent most of his summer vacation playing for Gaylord Baseball Club, he did find time to play with the Cardinals during summer basketball tournaments and camps. Gascho spent the spring and summer playing AAU with his buddies from Mio and Fairview (he transferred to J-L from Fairview two years ago). So that has helped prepare them for this season as well.

Through two games, Sheldon Huff has become a great presence on the wing — hitting a late 3-pointer against Mio to keep the game close — but he's also able to drive to the hoop and get to the foul line. Gascho has handled some of the point guard duties as well as led the defense. He's capable of taking a steal the distance for an easy layup. Speed kills, after all.

They just need to keep that going for 18 more regular season games.

"Last year, we really worked with each other, so we all know what to do when we get the ball," Gascho added. "We just combined for at least 20 points or more (against Mio), and we're just working the ball around to get easy buckets. The team is working better now, and it's our second year together.

"Hopefully, we'll keep it going, getting more points and easy buckets."

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Huff's 22 points helps Cardinals down Eagles on the road
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor

Sheldon Huff's career night was enough to combat a slow start for Johannesburg-Lewiston on Tuesday at Fairview.

The sophomore scored a personal-best 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, helping the Cardinals beat the Eagles 69-29 in non-conference play. What's more, he used his dribble-drive to create scoring opportunities for his teammates, especially Tyler Madej (11 points, eight rebounds), Joey Chrencik (two points) and Matthew Davidson (two points).

Also playing well was Tyson Claeys, who shot 9 of 14 from the floor for 19 points and 12 rebounds.

"Sheldon got our offense going by dribble driving and dumping down to the post for easy buckets to get the other guys going," said coach Troy Huff, whose Cardinals (1-1) led only 17-10 after the first quarter. "He sees the floor well and didn't force the ball. He took what the defense was giving him.

"He got a lot of open jumpers and mid-range jumpers and also attacked the basket to get second-chance shots. He had six points alone on second-chance opportunities – rebounding it and putting it back up."

J-L ratcheted up its defense in the second and third quarters, holding the Eagles to only eight points during that stretch.

"We weren't moving the ball well in the first quarter," Coach Huff said. "We played down to their level a little bit. But then we started to run in transition a little bit better, pushing the ball. We played a little bit better defense, too. We were just too lackadaisical to start. Luckily, Sheldon had a really big night."

Tanner Shimel and Gavin Weaver each scored eight points apiece, while Carlos Gascho pitched in three.

The Cardinals hope Thursday's effort will give Sheldon Huff more confidence going forward.

"If he can't build on that, I don't know what the problem would be," said Coach Huff, Sheldon's father. "He was just feeling it tonight with his soft shot."

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Cardinals lose opener to hot-shooting Thunderbolts
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor

JOHANNESBURG – A year ago, River Waisanen buried nine 3-pointers to help Mio upset Johannesburg-Lewiston in a non-conference boys basketball game.

Waisanen and the Thunderbolts found that downtown spark again during Tuesday's season opener. Mio made seven 3s and staved off a late comeback from the host Cardinals to earn a 59-56 win.

All 12 of Waisanen's points came from four 3s. His last one gave Mio a 49-40 advantage with 5:23 remaining, and then Brendan DeFlorio scored in transition to make it an 11-point game, their team's largest lead.

"He's a hell of a 3-point shooter," J-L coach Troy Huff said. "He had the game of his life last year. It obviously boosted his confidence against us today.

"We were sagging down on him too far. I wanted us to deny him the ball and deny him the pass, initially. We gave him a step and was a step off him. So when we'd get mixed up on screens, that allowed him to get open."

Late in the fourth, J-L finally snapped a 12-2 run by Mio after Tyson Claeys (team-high 19 points) scored a fast-break bucket. What followed was a brief run from the Cardinals, who got a reverse layup from Carlos Gascho and a 3-pointer from Tanner Shimel to make it 53-51 with 1:16 left.

"That's just defense," said Gascho, who scored 14 points. "We had a couple of errors where we were switching, and we'd stay on the same guy and another would be wide up. We weren't moving our feet and stuff, and we'd foul.

"That (run) was just defense and getting good looks for back cuts and looking for easy buckets on the backside."

Drew Hess (17 points) made four foul shots in the bonus to secure the win for Mio, despite Sheldon Huff swishing a long 3 for J-L with only eight seconds remaining.

"They showed resiliency," Coach Huff said. "They didn't chop off their heads. They continued to fight and fought their way back into the game by taking good shots, not forcing things and playing good defense."

The Cardinals scored six-straight points to open the third, including Gascho driving for a layup. The attempt gave J-L its first and only lead, 36-34, with 3:37 remaining. Mio took a 43-40 advantage into the final eight minutes.

Gascho's mid-range jumper knotted the score at 9 in the first, while Tyler Madej buried a 3 to begin the second quarter and tie it at 16. However, the Thunderbolts carried a 33-27 lead into halftime, riding their hot shooting and steady defense past the Cardinals.

"We've just got to work on backside help, on-ball pressure and moving our feet," Sheldon Huff added. He and Shimel each finished with 10 points. "There's no quit in this team, for sure. If we're down by 11 with a minute left, we're still pushing until the end. There's no stop in this team."

Coach Huff was actually happy with how J-L played. He called it the perfect tune-up for the season, believing his team played great against a well-coached Ty McGregor program. McGregor played professionally in Denmark.

"I'm not disappointed," Coach Huff said. "This is just what I wanted, right here. ... We've got to clean up a few things. We've got to finish around the rim and box out. That first half killed us, and we probably spotted them at least 11 or 12 points by not doing the simple things."

The Cardinals, who were scheduled to visit Fairview on Thursday, Nov. 29, will also look to shore up its perimeter defense going forward. Fortunately, they won't have to face Waisanen again this season.

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Defending SVC champion Cardinals not looking too far ahead
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor

JOHANNESBURG — The Johannesburg-Lewiston boys basketball team removed one proverbial monkey off its back when it won its first Ski Valley title since 1981 last season.

So one would think the next monkey it’d attack would be finally winning a district title after coming so close the past four years under seventh-year coach Troy Huff. But that’s not how the Cardinals, 15-6 a year ago, are looking at things.

“Nope, we’re just looking to come out and win some games,” said senior Tyson Claeys, who was the Herald Times Player of the Year in 2017-18. “If we come out and win games, everything else will fall into place.”

“We definitely would like to win a district championship because we figure this is the team to do it. If we just work hard, we’ll have a season like last season where we got to the spot that everyone expected us to get to.”

Senior Tyler Madej echoed Claeys’ sentiments.

“At this point, (it’s) not really (our goal),” he said. “We’re just worried about coming out and winning and getting another conference championship. Then we’ll move on to districts.”

Fair enough.

You get to the call the shots when you’re the king of the conference. And with a Big 3 — seniors Tanner Shimel, Claeys and Madej — like the Cardinals have, they definitely have room to talk.

J-L lost two starters to graduation from last year’s title team in guard Kyle May and wing Caesen Campbell as well big man Timmy LaPointe off the bench.

But their losses shouldn’t be too tough to replace. Last year, Huff played then-freshmen Carlos Gascho and Sheldon Huff as the first two off the bench and got them considerable varsity minutes. They’ll step into starting roles as sophomores.

“We’ll be stronger this year,” Coach Huff said. “The freshmen from last year are sophomores, so they’re a little bit more of age. I expect a lot out of them. Plus we’ll get that junior class (the Big 3), which was my leading scorers last year, back as seniors.”

“There’s nothing like game-time experience. Carlos and Sheldon were my sixth and seventh guys off the bench, depending on which game it was. Between the two of them, they averaged 7-10 points per game, and, hopefully, they can get into the 12-14 points range this year.”

“I believe my starting five and the three on the bench is as deep as we possibly can be as far as shooters on the team. And I like that from a consistency standpoint.”

Those three coming off the bench will be juniors Matthew Davidson, Gavin Weaver and Joey Chrencik, each capable of playing both in the post and on the wing.

“I expect big things from them off the bench,” Coach Huff continued. “And they’re going to get a ton of playing time. I’m excited to see how each one will develop.”

“Matthew is very coachable, and he uses his body well. He’s bigger and stronger this year, and he has been in the weight room in the off-season, which will pay dividends in basketball.”

“Joey has now got a smooth shot, and he’s gotten a lot more physical. During camp over the summer, I saw a different side of him. He wasn’t letting those guys push him around. He got mad at them, which was nice to see. I expect him to come in and do good at rebounding, especially if Tyson gets into foul trouble.”

“Gavin got some time off the bench for us last year as a sophomore, but I definitely expect him to be more in the mix this year, especially with his height (6-foot-3).”

It’s unlikely another team in the Ski Valley will have three players to match up with Shimel, Madej and Claeys throughout a full 32-minute game. And they each know it, too.

Claeys and Shimel were Class C all-state players, each making the honorable mention team. Claeys led the Cardinals with 308 points and 170 rebounds, while Shimel scored 277 points and shot 50.2 percent from the floor. Both were first-team All-SVC players.

Madej, on the other hand, was just an All-SVC honorable mention, but with the way he’s improved his shooting this preseason, he will likely earn more accolades as a senior.

“I think we’re going to come out strong — just like we did last year,” Madej said. “We lost Caesen and Kyle, who were both great defensive players, but we also have Sheldon and Carlos stepping up now.”

Whether the Cardinals would like to admit it, their season won’t be judged on their ability to repeat as Ski Valley champions. It’ll all come down to what they do in the district tournament.

“I definitely don’t doubt there’s some pressure on us to get another championship and do well in districts and the playoffs as a whole,” Claeys said. “But I think we’re ready as a team, for sure.”

The Cardinals at a glance

Coach: Troy Huff, seventh year

2017-18 Record: 15-6 (14-2 SVC)

2017-18 Finish: Lost in the Class C district semifinal to Oscoda, 62-60; Claimed first conference championship since 1981

Key Losses: Kyle May, Caesen Campbell, Timmy LaPointe

Key Returners: Tyson Claeys, Tanner Shimel, Tyler Madej, Sheldon Huff, Carlos Gascho, Gavin Weaver

Newcomers: Joey Chrencik, Matthew Davidson

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Go Cardinals!

J-L Basketball Archives

J-L Cardinal Basketball 2017-18

J-L Cardinal Basketball 2016-17

J-L Cardinal Basketball 2015-16

J-L Cardinal Basketball 2014-15

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Updated 1/18/19