Monday, February 6, 2023

Hornets hang on for win at Conneaut

Three Kirtland players scored in double figures and the Hornets held off a late Conneaut charge in Thursday’s 63-47 non-conference road win.

Jeremy Davis led Kirtland with 15 points while Palmer Capretta and Evan Madden dropped in 14 and 13, respectively.

“We played a really nice first half,” said Kirtland coach Nick Gallo. “We played well but we kind of fell asleep in the third quarter. They were playing hard. It was Senior Night for them. They didn’t want to go down without a fight.”

The Hornets, who improved to 14-7, jumped out to a 34-19 halftime lead thanks to an offense that flawlessly executed its game plan and a defense that hindered Conneaut’s shooters.

“We moved the ball really well, finding gaps, picking the shooters,” Gallo said. “The guys were playing together. It was one of the better halves we played all year. We were really humming offensively and guys were rolling to the rim hard.”

Despite Conneaut’s big second half run the Hornets held the Spartans to just 47 points.

“We were pretty good defensively tonight,” Gallo said. “Less than 12 points per quarter is pretty good basketball. We played a little more zone tonight, which I thought was a good move as we go into the last couple of games and we prep for the post-season.”

Conneaut made it interesting in the fourth quarter but the Hornets managed to regroup and pulled away down the stretch.

Davis sank four of Kirtland’s 10 3-pointers.

“He was excellent tonight,” Gallo said. He shot the ball really well tonight. Jeremy can be as good as he wants to be. When he’s attacking the rim and kicking out to people and making people better he’s a fantastic player. We’re going to need that the last couple games and going into next season.”

Capretta and David Allchin made sure the Kirtland shooters received the ball with good looks at the basket.

“Both our guards were excellent tonight,” Gallo said. “Palmer in the first half was great. He was attacking and kicking. David Allchin didn’t score a point and I actually took three points away from him. In the middle of their run I called timeout in the middle of a transition play and David knocked down a three. He was a little upset with me about that. He gave me one of those David Allchin stare downs. He played really well tonight. He got us into some of our sets and kept us poised on the offensive end. He saw when things were out of order on offense and got us into stuff. When we’re organized on offense we’re really good.”

Kirtland closes out the regular season at Aurora on Saturday.

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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