Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Hornets close out CVC schedule with win at Fairport

All things considered, Kirtland’s 64-40 win at Fairport Harding on Saturday was quite impressive. The game was the seventh for the Hornets in the last 14 days and third straight on the road.

Kirtland finished that stretch of games with a 5-2 record and with Saturday’s win the Hornets improved to 13-7 overall and closed out league play with a 12-2 record.

“I think we were a little down from the (56-53) loss the night before (at Geneva) and they were just a little tired,” said Kirtland coach Nick Gallo. “I think everyone is a little tired. We played four games in five nights last week and then three games this week. We’re really beat up, really tired. We’re trying to get these guys healthy to make maybe a little bit of a playoff push and to get ready for Lutheran West.”

The Hornets jumped out to a 19-9 first quarter lead but it didn’t come easily.

Fairport used a zone defense to keep Kirtland’s offense from getting easy looks at the basket.

“They’re playing good basketball,” Gallo said of the Skippers. “They did a good job early on against our pressure. We got off to a good start in the first quarter but they did a better job against our pressure. They zoned us a little too and missed some shots early, which kept them in the game.”

Kirtland led by 10 at halftime and increased that lead to 12 heading into the fourth quarter. The Hornets finished strong, outscoring the Skippers, 23-11, in the fourth quarter.

Four Hornets scored in double figures in the win.

Evan Madden led the Hornets with a game-high 13 points and Owen Lewis had 11. Both Cole DiFabio and Palmer Capretta scored 10 points in the win.

DiFabio’s offensive output was encouraging.

“I think it’s extremely important that we get Cole DiFabio going.” Gallo said. “He’s been up and down these last two weeks. Him getting the ball to go in last night was important. As balanced as we are offensively, we’ve got to have some bench scoring and consistent performances from our starters too so it was good to see him get going. He got a few more rebounds too.”

Bruce Miller led the Skippers with 10 points.

Kirtland travels to Aurora on Tuesday and Conneaut on Thursday. The Hornets then open the postseason on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at home against Lutheran West.


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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