Saturday, December 10, 2022

Blue Devils honor seniors with win over Lincoln West

Independence recognized seniors Hanah Walker and Kelsey Wilmot prior to Saturday’s regular season finale against visiting Lincoln West then went out and beat the Wolverines, 55-43.

“It was a typical, emotional night so it was hard to refocus on the task at hand,” said Independence coach Mike Marcinko. “You get so caught up in the pregame but it was great to talk and recognize and honor Hanah and Kelsey and that carried over into the first quarter. We were kind of still celebrating so we got off to a slow start and then we started rolling.”

Wilmot made the first start of her career, which required a last-minute lesson on the proper pregame rituals to follow during team introductions.

“It was fun watching them put together a handshake and getting her ready for the starting lineup,” Marcinko said. “That was fun to watch because she’s put in so much work. She hasn’t been a regular but she’s shown the younger girls what commitment means. She’s not only on time, she’s early and always working hard and she has a great attitude. She’s truly a team player and we’re all better for her being in the program.”

Walker finished with eight points for the Blue Devils.

“She had a real nice last (home) game,” Marcinko said. “I hope in general the staff and the girls made it a good last game for her and Kelsey.”

The pregame was all about the seniors but it was a pair of underclassmen that stole the show during the game.

Sophomore Riley Wilson and freshman Riccela DiGeronimo both finished with a team-high 16 points for Independence.

“Riccela and Riley certainly have carried the freight for us the last few games,” Marcinko said. “Riley has been driving to the rim and attacking the basket and getting some and-ones for us and it’s the same with Riccela. She’s been getting steals and run outs and that’s been really good for us.”

DiGeronimo quickly emerged this season as one of Independence’s top scoring threats and she has gotten better in recent weeks.

“Coach has been working with me to get me to take a pull up instead of a floater and it has been helping me out a lot,” DiGeronimo said. “As a freshman, I wasn’t sure what to expect in high school. I just came in and tried to work hard in practice. After every game I got more and more comfortable playing. My coaches and teammates have helped me a lot by encouraging me and telling me to just play and don’t worry about anything. With our regular season coming to an end, I have gotten very confident in myself.”

Kaitlin Richards contributed to the win with six points, Madison Stepanik added four, Haylee Dmitruk pitched in with three and Erica Esper finished with a bucket.

The Blue Devils, who finished the regular season 14-7, open the postseason on Saturday at Wellington.

Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

Related Articles

Stay Connected

764FansLike
3,369FollowersFollow
364SubscribersSubscribe

Latest Articles

CVC Athletes of the Week

Athletes from 13 different schools have been named the Chagrin Valley Conference Athletes of the Week.

Hoops Roundup: Chagrin Falls adjusts in win over West Geauga

Chagrin Falls made a few in-game adjustments on the way to a 51-32 Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division win over visiting West Geauga on Wednesday.

CVC lands five on Division II & III All-Ohio teams

The Chagrin Valley Conference landed five players on the 2022 Ohio Division II and Division III All-Ohio football teams.

CVC Hoops Roundup: Berkshire pulls away from Kirtland

Berkshire dominated the second half to defeat visiting Kirtland in a key Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division showdown on Tuesday, 41-20.

18 CVC players earn All-Ohio honors in Division IV & V

The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association on Tuesday released its 2022 Division IV and V All-Ohio teams. A total of 18 Chagrin Valley Conference players were...