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Cardinal boys basketball: Troy Domen cements his legacy for Huskies hoops

Jan. 19—Troy Domen has made sure his name is synonymous with Cardinal basketball for years to come.

The senior entered the season with the all-time steals record he claimed last year. He had three more records in his sights as he entered his senior year.

Domen watched Jake Bean and Ethan Detweiler set the all-time scoring and assists record last year along with his own mark. It took Domen some time to pass his teammates from last season, but he eclipsed both in the same night against Southington in a Huskies victory.

He also added the all-time free throws record to his resume as he has made 201 from the free-throw line, eclipsing the mark set by Doug Esenwine.

"I knew at the beginning of the year I wanted to set the whole 'records' thing to the side and just play basketball for my last year in high school," Domen said. "I wanted to focus on soaking it all in and continuing to better myself."

Cardinal had a challenging start to the season, as it opened with a five-game losing streak before the Huskies' first win against Garrettsville Dec. 22. They have won their past two games as Domen has been helping a lot of the underclassmen adjust to the speed of the varsity game.

Coach Kyle Deckerd has seen Domen transform from just one voice in a sea of senior leaders to the voice.

Deckerd knew Domen was going to have a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders at the onset of the season. But he also believed he could handle all the extra challenges as well.

"Troy has been in a completely different role as he has ever been much like everyone else on this year's team," Deckerd said. "Like any new role it takes time to adjust, but every day he has been in practice competing and pushing the other guys to battle with him. Troy is a lead-by-example kind of guy and the effort and passion he plays with each and every game cannot go unnoticed by his teammates."

His transition to it being his team was something Domen wasn't used to. But now with his feet under him, Domen and the Huskies have had several close contests and pulled out close wins.

Domen also needed time to adjust to being the sole leader for the Huskies.

His teammates and coaches were willing to give him plenty of time to adjust to the role. He took some time, and all have seen him find his voice on the court.

"It was a little hard for me to adapt to the people I was playing with because I had been with the same group of people my whole life so to switch it up, personnel wise it was a little challenging," Domen said. "I would like to win as many games as possible and teach these younger guys below me the game of basketball."

Domen is one of three seniors on the Huskies' roster and the lone starter of the bunch. He was not only tasked with being the scoring leader and vocal leader for the Huskies but also the floor general.

Deckerd knew he was asking a lot of Domen at the beginning of the season but saw him find his voice early.

Cardinal had runs against Geneva and Chardon come up short of wins but Deckerd watched the team already making strides under Domen's leadership.

"It is really a blessing to have such a complete basketball player," Deckerd said. "We will definitely miss him after this year. He has left a lasting impression on the history of Cardinal basketball. I know all of the future Huskies will be trying to break all of the records he has set."

Domen has all the pomp and circumstances past him now and can focus on playing the best basketball possible for the remainder of the season.

He came into Cardinal as a wide-eyed freshman but ready for the challenges he was going to face. Domen now is the grizzled veteran that can look back at his four years and the mark he has made not just for the team, but the program as a whole.

"What it means to me is that it was a very humbling experience and took a lot of practice and time to get my craft when it is today," Domen said. "When I come and visit and maybe have kids they will see everything I have accomplished."

Domen looks to add to all of his marks when Cardinal travels to Grand Valley on Jan. 26.