PEPPER PIKE—Kara DeSmith scored a career-high 19 points in leading Independence to a season-opening 66-37 win at Orange on Tuesday.
All 10 Independence players scored in the win.
“I’m not long for postgame talks in the locker room but I said we came here to get the first one and the first one is the toughest one to get,” said Independence coach Mike Marcinko. “Our mission was to come here and win a basketball game and we did. They played hard and we’ll look at the film and tear apart the stuff we don’t like, praise the stuff we do, and hopefully repeat it.”
DeSmith and Anna Weber, who scored 17 points, created early momentum when they each opened the game with a six-point quarter. DeSmith drained three jump shots while Weber hit a pair of 3-pointers as the Blue Devils built an early 18-11 lead.
“We were supposed to start on Friday so I think the girls were kind of down because we couldn’t get going and it gets old looking at each other every day,” Marcinko said. “It was nice to play somebody else and you get a road ‘W,’ so I’m happy. When I found out Kara’s stat line, I was very happy because she’s one of those that we need her to do that. That was exceptional. It would be great if that was every night but that’s unfair to her, but to have her step up and score like that, we need that input from her. We need three to four people close to double-digits to be successful.”
Natalie George, Addie Westerburg, and Cat Rieger contributed to the win with six points each and Ashley Adams scored four. Alex Adams added three points, Casey Adams and Addie Walker both finished with two and Mackenzie McMahon scored one point.
“The effort the effort was there,” Marcinko said. “I think we made some questionable technique things that we’ve got to clean up but I can’t complain about the effort. There was no doubt that was there and I think that stemmed the tide for us. We felt we could come in play at the pace we want to play and we want to dictate the pace, not the other team.”
Independence outscored Orange in the second half, 29-17.
DeMarionna Branch led Orange with 15 points and Rachel Oberster added 13.