Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Blue Devils win big on Senior Night

Independence celebrated seniors Sophie Piteo and Megan Kuczmarski with a 51-22 non-conference win over visiting Lincoln West on Monday.

The win was the sixth straight for the Blue Devils, who won nine of their last 10 to finish the regular season with a 14-6 record.

“It was a good night,” said Independence coach Mike Marcinko. “It was a little different playing on a Monday but the girls brought the energy.”

Kuczmarski scored 12 points in the win and Piteo anchored the Independence defense, which didn’t allow more than 10 points in any quarter.

“They had their night and things went well,” Marcinko said. “We were able to get them out on their own so they could get a standing ovation and get the recognition that they deserve. Sophie did her typical thing. She drew the tough defensive assignment again and kept everybody on edge, in a good way. Defensively she was getting people in the right spots. She showed her typical senior leadership.”

Freshman Riley Wilson led the Blue Devils with a game-high 17 points.

“Riley gout out on the break and attacked the rim,” Marcinko said. “She got to the free throw line. She found a lot of open territory to attack. She had a good night.”

Kaitlin Richards also scored 12 points for the Blue Devils and Haylee Dmitruk pitched in with six and a boatload of assists.

“I’ll bet she had double digit assists,” Marcinko said. “It was a wide open game. I don't think we ran a set the entire game. It was a lot of freelance drives, looking ahead. It got to be an open court game and Riley and Haylee Dmitruk connected a lot.”

Reni Kaiser and Hanah Walker both contributed with two points for Independence.

“We got after it in the first quarter with everybody and then started mixing in people with the ones to the point where in the fourth quarter it was the JV kids out there having fun and playing hard and getting some opportunities,” Marcinko said.

Independence opens the post-season on Feb. 22 at home against Trinity in a Division III sectional semifinal.


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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