Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Blue Devils pick up road win at Fairport

Independence had little trouble shaking off a long bus trip and beat host Fairport Harding on Saturday, 48-23.

The win was the 10th of the year for the Blue Devils.

“It’s not easy traveling out there but we had a good day,” said Independence coach Mike Marcinko. “It was a good rood trip in the conference. Any win on the road is a good one. We did a good job on both ends of the floor so it didn’t take long for them to transition from sitting on bus for an hour to playing hard.”

The Blue Devils led 15-6 after one quarter and 29-10 at halftime.

Marcinko then emptied his bench and the Blue Devils finished off the win.

“We played our top kids in first half and then backed off,” Marcinko said. “A lot of kids got a lot of opportunities to play and score.”

Megan Kuczmarski led the Blue Devils with 11 points while Hanah Walker pitched in with eight, Haylee Dmitruk finished with seven and Riley Wilson and Kaitlyn Richards both scored six.

Erica Esper and Reni Kaiser contributed with five points each.

Esper scored all five of her points in the second quarter when she nailed a 3-pointer and scored on a driving layup.

“We have been trying to get her in the mix and she played well,” Marcinko said.

Independence improved to 10-6 overall and 7-4 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division.

The Blue Devils, who have won two straight, play three straight conference games beginning with Tuesday’s showdown against first place Kirtland.

“The wins are important to use because it builds our confidence as we head into our final games of the season,” Kuczmarski said. “We have a couple tough games coming up and we’re hoping this positive energy will carry over.”

Independence 48, Fairport 23

Independence (11-6, 7-3 CVC): Dmitruk 7, Wilson 6, Esper 5, Richards 6, Kuczmarski 11, Kaiser 5, Walker 8

Fairport (1-16, 1-9 CVC): Burrier 5, Urban 3, Lorek 5, Hagedorn 2, Clark 5, Camargo 3

Independence 15 14 4 15 — 48
Fairport 6 4 4 9 — 23

Field goals: Fairport 8 of 31; Free throws: Independence 3 of 5, Fairport 7 of 11; 3-pointers: Independence 3 (Dmitruk, Esper, Kaiser), Fairport 2 (Lorek, Clark); JV: Independence 38, Fairport 23

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, 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.

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