Friday, February 23, 2024

Independence tops Cardinal, sets up showdown with Hawken

Monday’s 164-187 win over visiting Cardinal kept Independence in the hunt for the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division championship.

The Blue Devils, who improved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in league matches, will play at Hawken on Thursday. A win would position Independence just one point behind the Hawks heading into the CVC post-season tournament.

“Our season really comes down to Hawken,” said Independence coach Mark Echstenkamper. “We have to beat them. Right now we’re three points down from Hawken in the league standings after the preseason tournament. We have to win the dual match. We have to beat them and that still only puts us within one point of them based on the way our point system works.”

Nick Brunsman shot a match low 36 against Cardinal. Tyler Wilson carded a 41 and Andrew Teriberry and Alec Jendre finished with a 42 and 45, respectively.

“We took care of business,” Echstenkamper said. “Nick has been Mr. Consistency for us throughout the entire year. Tyler was a little frustrated. He didn’t play as well as he wanted to but 41 is a really good score. Other guys stepped up too. Teriberry put up a good score today and Jendre, he’s a senior that put up some good scores for us last year. We’re counting on him to help make this tournament run at the end. He’s a guy that can score in the low 40s. It was good to see him put that score up for us.”

Danny Knippenberg led Cardinal with a 39 and Joe Callison shot 45. Tyler Carroll carded a 51 while Geno Argento and Alex Almy both shot 52 for the Huskies, who dropped to 3-4 overall and 3-2 in the CVC.

“We didn’t play our best, for sure,” said Cardinal coach Greg McCandless. “Knippneberg is just continuing a really solid senior season. He’s our leader and he sure played like it today and Joe Callison, he struggled out of the gate but his last four rounds have been really solid. We just didn’t have the depth of scorers.”

Cardinal plays at Garrettsville Garfield on Tuesday and closes out league play next Wednesday against Berkshire.

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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