Kirtland learned a lot from its 71-58 home loss to Hawken back on Dec. 19.
The Hornets were more patient in the rematch and left Hawken with a 73-58 win on Friday.
“We played really well,” said Kirtland coach Nick Gallo. “We were down 9-0 to start the game but we finished off with some momentum at the end of the first quarter and we got great contributions from everywhere. We did a better job of protecting the rim and overall we played really hard. It was a great overall team win.”
Rather than risk turnovers playing at Hawken’s fast pace, the Hornets slowed things down on the offensive end, which resulted in a big night for several shooters.
Seann McGill finished with a team-high 16 points and two of Kirtland’s 12 3-pointers. Dylan Fulco and Dawson Cosgrove both contributed with 14 points.
“We were slowing the game down as we found out in the first game if we play the pace that they want us to play then we are going to turn the ball over,” McGill said. “We got into the flow of our offense, which then we were finding the open shooter and we were making our shots.”
After spotting the Hawks a nine-point lead, Kirtland rallied back to trail 12-9 after the first quarter. The Hornets outscored the Hawks, 22-14, in the second to take a 31-26 lead into the locker room.
“Dawson Cosgrove gave us a huge lift in the first half,” Gallo said. “He had a nice finish at the rim to end the half.”
Cosgrove also finished with a team-high four 3-pointers.
Adam Mueller pitched in with nine points while Dom Capretta and Matthew Krulc both scored five.
“We shot the ball really well and had very balanced scoring,” Gallo said. “Brandon (Samsa) was under the weather so we only had him about 50-percent of the time but it was a good effort. We moved the ball well and talked a lot about dribbling with a purpose. They were swinging it quickly and played good inside-out basketball.”
Hugh Brown led Hawken with 17 points.
Kirtland improved to 7-4 overall and 5-4 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division. The Hornets travel to Chardon on Monday. Hawken dropped to 7-6, 6-2.
Kirtland 73, Hawken 58
Kirtland (7-4, 5-4 CVC): Capretta 5, Mueller 9, Samsa 5, Cosgrove 14, Fulco 14, Krulc 5, Work 2, Aquila 3, McGill 16
Hawken (7-5, 6-2): Ross 12, Brown 17, Abraham 3, Nestor 3, Clark 8, Ehrbar 1, Snyder 5, Ferguson 2, Perusek 7
Kirtland 9 22 28 14 — 73
Hawken 12 14 9 23 — 58
Free throws: Kirtland 5 of 8, Hawken 10 of 18; 3-pointers: Kirtland 12 (Cosgrove 4, McGill 2, Fulco 2, Aquila 1, Samsa 1, Krulc 1, Capretta 1), Hawken 6 (Brown 2, Ross 2, Abraham 1, Nestor 1)