Friday, December 9, 2022

Independence takes down Wickliffe

Wickliffe’s Stephanie Martin scored a game-high 35 points but it wasn’t enough to upset first-place Independence on Saturday.

To offset Martin’s big game, 10 different Independence players scored in the 70-44 win.

“I’m happy with the road win,” Independence coach Mike Marcinko said. “We have girls coming off of being sick or playing while sick so we got off to a slow start defensively but they girls tightened things up and defended better.”

Martin scored all 14 of Wickliffe’s first-quarter points then was held scoreless in the second quarter as Independence built a 36-20 halftime lead.

Martin went on to score seven of Wickliffe’s eight third-quarter points and she added 14 of 16 in the fourth quarter but Independence’s balanced scoring was enough to keep the host Blue Devils from making a comeback bid.

Riley Wilson led Independence with 17 points, Madison Stepanik contributed with 12, Haylee Dmitruk finished with nine, Kaitlin Richards posted eight points, Anna Weber pitched in with six and Amy Ksiazka and Erica Esper both finished with five. Brooke Pillar and Hailey Wilmot both scored three points and Riccela DiGeronimo added a bucket.

“By necessity and design, we subbed frequently and the points got spread around which was nice to see,” Marcinko said. “Riley was steady with 17 points and eight boards. Kaitlin Richards had 12 boards and Haylee Dmitruk had five assists and four steals. Erica kept her streak of hitting 3s going. It was a well-rounded offensive effort.”

Hannah Levon scored six points for Wickliffe and Bridgett Burkett and Georgia Zele finished with two and one point, respectively.

Independence improved to 13-2 overall and 9-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division while Wickliffe dropped to 2-12, 1-8.

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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