Monday, February 6, 2023

Hornets back on track with win over Beachwood

Back-to-back overtime losses and an injury to starting point guard Katie McCollister left Kirtland’s girls’ basketball team in a foul mood.

The Hornets responded with a 55-40 win over visiting Beachwood on Wednesday.

“It was huge because had we not won that one we would have dropped three in a row,” said Kirtland coach Bob Bell of the win. “Two overtimes in three days and that really hurt. It was big. It felt good for the kids to get back in the win column. We were sitting on seven for a week and we got number eight so they were happy.”

Kirtland, which improved to 8-2 overall, dropped overtime games against NDCL last Wednesday and at Perry on Friday.

McCollister was injured on the final play of the loss at Perry and missed Wednesday’s game against the Bison.

That forced freshman Lauren Snyder to move to the point.

“We had a major adjustment with a freshman at the point,” Bell said. “One thing they do, they can put pressure on you up front because they have some pretty quick kids. It took Lauren about half the game to adjust and then she really had a nice second half.”

Snyder finished with 11 points while her sister Sydney Snyder finished with a team-high 18 and Jenna Sayle added 14.

Lauren Lutz and Riley McCrory both pitched in with five.

“Three in double figures helps,” Bell said. “Riley McCrory stepped in during the second half with five points. That was huge. Those came at a good time for us in the third and early in the fourth.”

Lutz also led the team with 17 rebounds.

“She rebounded like crazy,” Bell said. “She had an incredible game rebounding.”

The Hornets had trouble slowing down Beachwood’s top scorer Taylor Royster, who finished with 36 of her team’s 40 points.

“She just attacks the basket and she gets fouled a lot,” Bell said. “We knew it and we were trying to get as much help as possible. Sydney Snyder and Jenna Sayle took turns guarding her and both of them did a phenomenal job and she still scored 36 points. Our two girls worked their tails off to try to keep her in check and the only thing I can say is she kept putting them up but nobody else was scoring. I’m OK with 36 points if no one else scores.”

Kara Aquila scored just two points but Bell was pleased with her defensive effort.

“Kara Aquila has been giving us some really good minutes,” Bell said. “She doesn't score a lot of minutes but she goes in and plays hard. She steps up and plays defense and gets some rebounds. She does a nice job of keeping things going.”

Kirtland travels to Hawken on Saturday.

Kirtland 55, Beachwood 40

Beachwood (3-5): Royster 36 , Safenovitz 2 , Griffen 2

Kirtland (8-2): S. Snyder 18 , L. Snyder 11, Sayle 14, Lutz 5 , McCrory 5, Aquila 2

Beachwood 1 14 12 13 — 40
Kirtland 8 8 18 21 — 55

Field goals: Beachwood 14 of 59, Kirtland 20 of 53; Free throws: Beachwood 8 of 14, Kirtland 15 of 26; 3-pointers: Beachwood 4 (Royster 4), Kirtland; Rebounds: Beachwood 25, Kirtland 41 (Lutz 17); Assists: Beachwood 4, Kirtland 8 (Snyder 3);

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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