Thursday, September 23, 2021

Independence wins at Berkshire

Berkshire had the hot hand in Friday’s Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division showdown but it was Independence that left Burton with a 50-34 win.

The Badgers converted eight 3-pointers but the Blue Devils did enough down the stretch to pull out the win.

“I really liked our defensive intensity throughout the whole game,” said Independence coach Hugh McMahon. “Berkshire shot the ball well tonight–they hit eight 3s–but we tightened up the defense down the stretch and limited those. We were able to get some runouts and put the game away.”

Kyle Stefanski led the Blue Devils with a game-high 22 points, three days after dropping 30 at Cardinal, and Jamie McMahon pitched in with 10 for Independence.

“That’s two really good back-to-back games scoring-wise for Kyle and Jamie McMahon added 10,” Coach McMahon said. “I thought they all passed the ball great against some of the trapping and pressure defense that Berkshire was playing.”

Independence also had success behind the arc.

Stefanski drained three of the Blue Devils’ seven 3-points, McMahon had two and Akhil Patel and Alex Hall each finished with one.

“Berkshire did a good job of doubling our post so we had to adjust to that,” Coach McMahon said. “The guys started kicking out, which opened some things up. It was nice to get a couple of 3s–Akhil Patel hit one and Jamie McMahon hit one and Kyle hit a few–that opened some things up. We did a good job of swinging the ball and being patient. We controlled the tempo and worked things around.”

Jack Ksiazka scored four points for the Blue Devils and also excelled in other aspects of the game.

“Jack Ksiazka did a great job on the boards and threw some really good outlet passes,” McMahon said.

Independence improved to 5-8 overall and 4-5 in the CVC. Berkshire dropped to 1-13, 0-8.

Independence 50, Berkshire 34

Independence: Patel 4, Ceculski 2, Ksiazka 4, Stefanski 22, Mallernee 2, McMahon 10, Hall 5, Flynn 1

Berkshire (1-12): Crea 14, Roach 3, Pillot 2, Trushel 4, Young 6, Kastor 2, Sinkenbring 3

Independence 12 13 11 13 — 50
Berkshire 6 10 7 11 — 34

Free throws: Berkshire 4 of 6, ,Independence 4 of 8; 3-pointers: Berkshire 8 (Crea 3, Young 2, Roach, Trushel, Sinkenbring), Independence 7 (Patel, Stefanski 3, McMahon 2, Hall).

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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