Kirtland snuck out of Fairport Harbor with a 76-66 win over the Skippers on Friday.
It wasn’t the best game the Hornets have played this season but they did enough to keep alive their Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division title hopes.
“It was an interesting game,” said Kirtland coach Nick Gallo. “We just didn't play very well. We didn't play very hard from the get go. I told the guys, we've got to put this performance behind us. We have no time to hang our heads because we have to play US on Saturday and that's going to be a challenge.”
“That didn’t help, but a win’s a win,” Gallo said. “We've got a flu bug going around that's kind of affecting everybody. For us, we have to put this one in the rear view mirror and move forward. I know it was a win but I don't think the guys were happy with the way we played last night. They know we're better than this.”
Kirtland built a 33-27 halftime lead and held off the Skippers in the second half.
Palmer Capretta scored a game-high 28 points and Brandon Samsa contributed with 18. Dominic Capretta scored a career-high 15 in the win.
“Dom and Palmer played pretty well, especially Dom,” Gallo said. “He was very efficient from the floor and was pretty good defensively. He played a nice game last night and I thought Brandon was huge down the stretch. He attacked the rim late. I thought he had a nice game. We needed those three guys last night.”
Palmer Capretta sank six of Kirtland’s 13 3-pointers and the Hornets converted on 21 of 25 free throw tries.
The Hornets are back in action on Saturday as they travel to University School for a non-conference showdown with the Preppers. Kirtland then travels to Berkshire on Tuesday to start a three-game stretch against the CVC Valley Division’s top teams.
Kirtland hosts Richmond Heights on Friday and Hawken the following Tuesday. The Hornets and Hawks currently are tied for first place in the division.
“That should be fun going over there (to US) against a pretty good basketball team,” Gallo said. “They just beat Andrews-Osborne, who was undefeated. That's a good prep game for us for Tuesday. The league is very important for us. That's why we schedule these types of games, so we can be ready to play Berkshire and Richmond Heights and those types of teams.”
Kirtland 76, Fairport 66
Kirtland: D. Capretta 15, P. Capretta 28, Samsa 18, Fulco 5, Mueller 3, Cosgrove 2, Powers 2, Bailey 2
Fairport: Garisek 8, Paugh 17, Yommer 11, Washington 4, Anderson 4, Carlson 6, Carrabine 14, Hennessey 2
Fairport 14 13 20 19 — 66
Kirtland 18 15 19 24 — 76
Field goals: Fairport 24 of 46; Free throws: Kirtland 21 of 25, Fairport 10 of 11; 3-pointers: Kirtland 13 (P. Capretta 6), Fairport 8 (Paugh 2, Yommer 2, Carrabine 2); Rebounds: Fairport 22 (Anderson 6); Assists: Fairport 9 (Garisek 2, Gochneaur 2, Paugh 2, Yommer 2); JV: Kirtland 70-56