Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Independence cruises past Wickliffe

Independence got off to a fast start and cruised to a 76-13 win over visiting Wickliffe on Saturday.

The Blue Devils jumped out to a 31-5 lead after the first quarter and led 53-8 at halftime.

“I was surprised it went that quickly,” Independence coach Mike Marcinko said. “I thought we would be OK and we liked our game plan and all but I never thought it would get out of hand like that in the first quarter.”

Riley Wilson led Independence with 19 points with all but two coming in the first half.

Madison Stepanik and Anna Weber also scored in double figures with 12 and 11, respectively.

Stepanik scored 10 of her 12 in the first half.

“One of the things we’ve been working with Madison on is calming down and letting the game come to her a little bit,” Marcinko said. “She gets so excited and rushes through her reads and her shots in the lane. Today, it just slowed down a little bit for her. Her role is to grab every rebound and make a layup and that’s what she did.”

Weber found holes in the Wickliffe defense and maximized her scoring opportunities.

“Wickliffe played a lot of zone, so there weren’t a lot of chances for her to drive,” Marcinko said. “Anna spots up well and reads where the game is being played. She finds the soft spots and sits there. The girls found her spotting up and she was open and nailed them.”

Amy Ksiazka and Reni Kaiser turned in a strong defensive performance in shutting down Wickliffe standout Stephanie Martin, who finished with a team-high seven points.

“Amy just took out Martin. She followed the game plan and Reni Kaiser took turns locking her done and they just couldn’t get anything done,” Marcinko said. “For Amy and Reni, those are things that just don’t show up in the stats unless you look at how many points Martin had. If you read into the game, they played such great defense she couldn’t get things done. The whole idea was to make the other four beat us and we thought that would be a tall order and it was.”

Kaitlyn Richards contributed to the win with nine points and Haylee Dmitruk added eight.

Independence hosts Fairport Harding on Monday.

Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, 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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