Sunday, January 29, 2023

Big second half leads Independence to win at Wickliffe

WICKLIFFE—Independence rode a big second half to an 83-58 win at Wickliffe in a battle of Blue Devils on Saturday.

In a game that was filled with intensity and physicality throughout, Independence upped the intensity defensively in the second half to pull away from their hosts.

“We didn’t make adjustments, we just decided to guard people,” said Independence coach Kyle Johnson. “We started to sit down and play the way these guys have learned for three years now.”

Wickliffe got off to a fast start and held a 7-4 advantage before Independence called a timeout and regrouped. Wickliffe led after the first quarter 23-22.

Independence found its rhythm late in the second quarter and closed out the half on a run that gave them a 41-29 lead at the break.

It was all Independence in the third quarter as the Blue Devils outscored their hosts, 29-5, and took a 70-44 advantage into the final eight minutes.

“I think we really cleaned up our defensive effort in the second half, and it benefited us.” Kyle Zygmunt said.

Zygmunt led Independence with 33 points while Braden Flynn finished with 14 and Michael Tommer and Aidan Coljohn both scored 10.

Owen Malaney led Wickliffe with 16 points, followed by Bryant Murphy adding 11 points.

“Our pressure was good,” said Wickliffe Coach Marc Lewis. “Obviously, you saw the tale of two halves. First half, we did exactly everything we wanted, forcing the nine turnovers we created. The second half, it’s like we lost something, not sure what it was, but we struggled in the second half. We didn’t come out energetic and we should’ve kept the turnovers to a minimum.”

Independence travels to Trinity on Tuesday while Wickliffe hosts Berkshire next week.


Brian Papesch
Papesch, an Orange High School and Notre Dame College graduate and life-long Cleveland fan, has a passion for all sports. He is focused on delivering accurate, informative, and amazing information on Northeast Ohio's finest teams and athletes.

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