Sunday, February 5, 2023

Blue Devils snap skid with win over Fairport

Kyle Stefanski scored a game-high 18 points to lead Independence to a 49-28 win over visiting Fairport Harding on Friday.

The victory snapped Independence’s three-game losing skid and helped the Blue Devils climb back to .500 in conference play with a 3-3 mark.

“We played our best defensive game of year tonight,” said Independence coach Hugh McMahon. “We were very active with our hands, we moved our feet, and best of all, we communicated. Offensively, we shared the ball and took good shots.”

The Blue Devils, who improved to 4-5 overall, limited the Skippers to no more than eight points in any single quarter.

Stefanski, who finished 6-of-11 from behind the 3-point arc, drained four 3s in the first quarter to help Independence build a 17-8 lead.

“Offensively, this is the first game my jumper is back and I’m blessed,” Stefanski said. “My role this year as point guard is to really create shots for my teammates, and you can see the scoring is very spread around this year. We’re playing great team basketball.”

Wyatt Flynn also scored in double figures with 11 points for the Blue Devils and Jack Ksiazka pitched in with five.

Stefanski was relieved to put the losing streak behind him.

“We had a great week of practice this week and told ourselves we’re going to sit down and defend,” he said. “We made them force shots they didn’t want to take and we went from there.”

Corey Paugh led the Skippers with eight points.

Independence travels to Hawken on Tuesday while Fairport will visit Kirtland.

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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