A hot start led Kirtland to a 64-47 win over visiting Fairport Harding on Tuesday.
The Hornets scored 28 first quarter points in building an early double-digit lead then outpaced the Skippers the rest of the way.
“We played a great first quarter,” said Kirtland head coach Nick Gallo. “Everyone was involved and we had very good ball movement and knocked shots down. I was very pleased with how we came out of the gate today.”
Seann McGill scored seven of his nine points in the first eight minutes.
“I thought Seann McGill played a better first quarter,” Gallo said. “I talked to him about turning the heat up a little bit and turning the oven up to 400-degrees. That was my metaphor for him tonight and he did a nice job.”
Brandon Samsa also got off to a fast start as he scored five of his game-high 12 in the first.
“Offensively, we knew that they were going to show us a zone look, so coach emphasized ball movement in practice and that led to us getting open shots,” Samsa said.
Adam Mueller and Zach Samsa both contributed to the win with eight points and 11 of the 13 Hornets that saw time recorded at least one basket.
Luke Camino pitched in with six points but he also excelled in pulling down rebounds and playing defense.
“I thought Luke Camino was really good tonight,” Gallo said. “We have to continue to look at him as a guy who can rebound. He’s just a good basketball IQ guy. He knows the game and he’s in the right spot all the time. He gave us good minutes.”
Fairport outscored the Hornets, 17-14, in the second quarter and 10-8 in the fourth.
“We still haven’t played a complete game yet,” Gallo said. “I thought we played a sloppy second quarter but we’re still figuring it out.”
The Hornets have now won two straight games with three key conference games on the docket. They host Berkshire on Friday then will try to avenge losses to Richmond Heights and Hawken, both on the road.
Kirtland defeated Berkshire, 67-33, back on Dec. 12.
“We don’t want to look ahead because we have Berkshire, which has always been a tough game for us over the years, but this is a huge stretch for us,” Gallo said. “I thought the University win (on Saturday) gave us a little bit of momentum. Obviously, dropping both to Richmond Heights and Hawken, we’re not looking ahead but we want to play really good basketball heading into those important league games.”
Kirtland improved to 6-3 overall and 4-3 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division.
Kirtland 64, Fairport 47
Fairport: Carrabine 11, Yommer 8, Paugh 11, Alston 3, Schuster 3, Schafer 11
Kirtland (6-3, 4-3 CVC): Capretta 6, Mueller 8, Samsa 12, Cosgorve 2, Fulco 4, Krulc 3, Work 4, Aquila 2, Z. Samsa 8, Camino 6, McGill 9
Fairport 10 17 10 10 — 47
Kirtland 28 14 14 8 — 64
Free throws: Fairport 12 of 18, Kirtland 4 of 6; 3-pointers: Fairport 5 (Paugh 3, Alston 1, Yommer 1), Kirtland 8 (Camino 2, Mueller 2, McGill 1, Z. Samsa 1, Krulc 1, B. Samsa 1)