GATES MILLS—Kirtland’s girls’ basketball team traveled to Hawken on Saturday expecting an intense battle between two of the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division’s top teams.
Instead, the Hornets ran into a Hawks team short three starters and cruised to a 56-16 win.
“They had a lot of injuries, as early as last night,” said Kirtland coach Bob Bell. “I'm just glad the girls played a consistent game and came out and performed the way they did.”
Kirtland forced turnover after turnover in building a 34-1 halftime lead. The Hawks didn’t score a field goal until just 5:22 was left in the game.
The Hornets weren’t without adversity.
Starting point guard Katie McCollister suffered a season-ending injury a week ago. Freshman Lauren Snyder scored eight points and is settling in as McCollister’s replacement.
“She's really stepped up and is doing a nice job in Katie's absence,” Bell said. “It's a ripple effect. You lose your point guard to a devastating injury like that and everything changes, every position so to speak. I think the kids are responding pretty well to it.”
Sydney Snyder scored a game-high 21 points and Jenna Sayle added 14 for the Hornets, who improved to 9-2 overall and 5-0 in the CVC.
The Hornets cleared their bench in the second half.
“Tonight was nice because we were able to get some of the kids off the bench and into the game,” Bell said. “It was a good ball game.”
Sophomore Taylor Smith led Hawken with seven points, which included a pair of fourth quarter 3-pointers.
Kirtland 56, Hawken 16
Kirtland: S. Snyder 21, Sale 14, L. Snyder 8, McCrory 4, Camino 3, Lutz 2, Bottesch 2, Ricketti 1, Aquila 1
Hawken (6-6): Smith 7, E. Emig 4, Herschman 3, Kutash 2
Kirtland 13 21 9 13 — 56
Hawken 1 0 2 13 — 16
Free throws: Kirtland 16 of 22, Hawken 3 of 4; 3-pointers: Kirtland 0, Hawken 3 (E. Emig, Smith, Herschman); Rebounds: Hawken 34 (Kutash 9); Assists: Hawken 3