Friday, February 23, 2024

Independence rallies to beat West Geauga

Don’t underestimate the power of a good halftime speech.

Independence used a 15-4 run in the third quarter to come from behind in a 46-44 win over host West Geauga on Monday.

“I honestly think it was the talk we had in the locker room,” said senior Hallie Zumack, who finished with 10 points. “We discussed what needed to be changed and adjusted and we went out and did it. It was a great team effort.”

The Blue Devils, who have won two straight to even up their record at 4-4, made some changes on defense and improved their shot selection in the second half.

That led to a more efficient half.

Junior Megan Kuczmarski finished with a team-high 14 points.

“We fixed our defense, as in showing them something they didn't see yet,” Zumack said. “We switched our press up to a different zone and we started taking good shots. Megan did a great job finishing for us down low.”

Senior Julia Riley finished with 12 points, including two 3-pointers.

“I'm just happy that my team got the W,” she said. “It being my senior year, I know each game is so important and that I have to be a positive role for this team and be a leader.”

That leadership showed up in the second half as the Blue Devils erased an eight-point deficit then held off the Wolverines in the fourth quarter.

“I think we really just realized that if we do the easy things, like finish our shots and execute we had this game,” Riley said. “In the third quarter we all came to fight and whatever happened we all knew each and every one of us would give it our all no matter what. We worked very well together in the second half with both offense and defense and that was shown with the outcome.”

Hannah Brinning led West Geauga with 16 points.

Independence travels to Berkshire on Saturday.

Steve Hare
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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