Thursday, September 23, 2021

Hornets sting the Badgers

Kirtland’s offense found its groove early and the Hornets were locked down visiting Berkshire’s offense in a 59-30 Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division victory on Tuesday.

The Hornets held the Badgers to just nine first half points in building a 37-9 lead at the break.

“I thought we got off to a really good start,” said Kirtland coach Nick Gallo. “We made some changes to the rotation to shake things up a little bit and obviously it’s working. We scored 37 points in the first half and the defense played great.”

Luke Camino scored seven of his game-high 13 points in the first quarter to pace the Hornets on offense and the Hornets used a team defensive effort to keep the Badgers from mounting a threat.

“Giving up nine points in 16 minutes is excellent defense,” Gallo said. “I was impressed with how we guarded. We were all up at the rim and that made it difficult for them.”

Camino added six more points in the second quarter and finished with a pair of 3-pointers. Sean McGill contributed with 11 points and Dawson Cosgrove finished with eight.

“Luke Camino really shot the ball well in the first half,” Gallo said. “He made a couple of 3s for us and he’s doing what we ask him to do, which is to rebound and finish plays around the rim. I thought Dawson’s energy off the bench was great tonight too.”

Camino also turned in a strong performance in Kirtland’s win at Jefferson on Saturday. He’s been working hard to help the Hornets add to their win total.

“I’ve just tried to do anything I can to help the team to get wins,” Camino said. “I think to keep getting wins the rest of the season ,we just have to focus on keeping our pace up, continuing to play as a team and trusting in each other.”

Nine different Kirtland players found the net in the victory.

“That’s being a very balanced team,” Gallo said. “We’re playing really good balanced basketball and making the extra pass. We have a real selfless group. It’s nice to see these guys enjoy each other’s success.”

The Hornets, who improved to 13-7 overall and finished 10-4 in league play, host CVC Chagrin Division champion West Geauga on Friday then close out the regular season at home against Chagrin Falls on Tuesday.

“We’ve got an opportunity to go play the Chagrin Division champs at our place,” Gallo said. “That’s a great opportunity for us to see where we’re at heading into the postseason. We’re going to have to be ready to go.”

Kirtland 59, Berkshire 30

Berkshire: Crea 3, Roach 4, Pillott 6, Young 4, Caster 7, Sinkenbring 3, Czekaj 3

Kirtland (13-7, 10-4 CVC): Capretta 0, Mueller 4, Samsa 6, Cosgrove 8, Zeuli 4, Fulco 7, Ridgeway 3, Work 3, Camino 13, McGill 11

Berkshire 4 5 12 9 — 30
Kirtland 16 21 12 10 — 59

Free throws: Kirtland 8 of 14, Berkshire 13 of 18; 3-pointers: Kirtland 5 (Camino 2, Cosgrove 2, Ridgeway), Berkshire 3 (Roach, Caster, Czekaj).

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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