Berkshire dominated the second half to defeat visiting Kirtland in a key Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division showdown on Tuesday, 41-20.
The Badgers led 9-5 at halftime before outscoring the Hornets in the final 16 minutes, 32-15.
“Any league win is always a big win,” said Berkshire coach James Bosley. “We started off kind of slow again. We were getting the shots we wanted but they just weren’t falling for us. I told them at halftime to just trust the process and that shots would start going in. We like to say made shots are contagious.”
Missed shots seemed to be contagious too, at least in the first half.
Berkshire led 5-3 after the first quarter and neither team found success in the second quarter as the Badgers outscored the Hornets, 4-2.
“Shots just weren’t going in,” Bosley said. “We had a little bit of foul trouble. Thankfully, we got some good minutes from Anna (Brown) and Jenna (Hornak) off the bench in the second (quarter). Kirtland threw a few different looks at us defensively which was keeping us from getting the things we normally do. Hats off to them for the way they played defense in that first half.”
Whatever Bosley said to his players at halftime worked as Berkshire’s offense began to click in the third quarter and never let up.
“Just to believe in what we do on offense and defense,” Bosley said when asked what his halftime message was. “This group of girls plays with all their hearts for each other. When they ‘Row the Boat,’ as we say, it’s a fun atmosphere to be a part of.”
Maddy Triskett hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter and then she found her groove in the fourth.
Triskett scored 12 of her game-high 17 points in the final eight minutes.
“Maddy just settled into the game and does the things that make her successful,” Bosley said. “She can do so many things offensively that she becomes a tough matchup but, it wasn’t just Maddy to help that run in the second half. She benefited from the team mindset of the other girls. They really set Maddy up to have success and that’s always huge when everyone enjoys seeing their teammates have success.”
Hayley Stoddard contributed to Berkshire’s win with eight points, Brooke Ruchalski added five, Caroline Kuchling and Lanie Wadsworth both scored four, and Natalie Hering added three points.
Hering’s 3-pointer came at the third-quarter buzzer, which sparked the Badgers to a 17-8 fourth-quarter run.
As good as Berkshire’s offense was in the second half, the Badgers were even better on the defensive end.
They held a Kirtland team averaging nearly 40 points per game to just five points in the first half and 15 in the second.
“Our defense was just clicking today,” Bosley said. “Kirtland has some really strong post play and we really focused on trying to minimize that. We also did a great job cleaning up the glass. I think between Stoddard and Wadsworth they had 20 rebounds.”
Kristiana Katic led Kirtland with eight points. Corinne Greenlee score five, Brynn Bradac added four, and Emily Ridgeway finished with three points.
With the win, Berkshire improved to 2-2 while Kirtland dropped to 3-2.
CVC HOOPS ROUNDUP
In other CVC action, Chagrin Falls improved to 2-0 in the Chagrin Division with a 52-35 win at West Geauga.
Lily Stukus scored a game-high 20 points with three 3-pointers and Jenna Santamaria and Elena McGinnis also scored in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Alexa Hocevar led West Geauga with 10 points.
Grand Valley snuck out of Crestwood with a 38-37 win. The Mustangs trailed the Red Devils after three quarters, 28-26, but outscored their hosts in the fourth, 12-9, to win the game.
Kaelyn Hart paced the 3-3 Mustangs with a game-high 19 points. Lily Easton added nine, Morgan Crawford scored five, Carly James pitched in with three, and Dixie Miller and Sydney Bell both scored one point in the win.
Hannah Ward, Abby Guyette, and Maddie Dustman each scored in double figures for Crestwood with 12, 10, and 10 points, respectively.
Orange pushed Hawken to the brink but fell to the Hawks, 38-35.
The Lions trailed their guests after three quarters, 31-23, but used a 10-2 run and took the lead off a Rachel Oberster layup with five minutes remaining in the game.
Hawken made the plays down the stretch to seal their narrow victory.
Kate Bollinger led the Hawks with a game-high 16 points and Carmen Courtad added 10.
NiKayla Henderson posted a team-high 12 points for the Lions an Olivia Jackson finished with eight.
Other CVC scores:
- Cleveland Central Catholic 46, Beachwood 41
- Perry 62, Geneva 35
- Brooklyn 51, Lutheran West 27
- Edgewood 60, Harvey 28
- Richmond Heights 48, Independence 31
- Westlake 65, Independence 61