Monday, March 20, 2023

Kirtland cruises past Berkshire, 55-17

Samantha Achauer scored a game-high 20 points, Taylor Somodji added 13 and six other Kirtland players contributed offensively in a 55-17 rout of visiting Berkshire on Saturday.

Claire Neibecker added nine points and Sydney Snyder finished with five for the Hornets.

“I thought we had a nice balanced attack,” said Kirtland coach Bob Bell. “I was really glad the girls went out and approached the game with a serious attitude that it was a ballgame and Berkshire wasn’t just going to hand it over to us and we had to earn it.”

Kirtland led 12-3 after the first quarter and took a 29-11 lead into halftime. The Hornets outscored the Badgers, 26-6, in the second half to pull away and improve to 9-6 overall and 4-1 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division.

“The kids responded very well with good, solid defense,” Bell said. “We moved the ball around very well. We had two players in double figures, Sam Achauer with 20 and Taylor Somodji with 13, but Claire Neibecker had nine, so she was very close. On top of that, we had five other people contribute in the scoring column. Eight of our 11 girls scored. That was pretty good.”

Defensively, the game plan was to make it difficult for Berkshire’s shooters to get a good look at the basket.

The Hornets perfectly carried out that plan and limited the Badgers to just five field goals in the game.

“We tried to pressure every shot,” Bell said. “That’s what we want to do defensively is put enough pressure on the shooters to cause the percentages to stay down. That’s what happens if somebody is effectively playing defense on us that way. We kept a lot of pressure on them defensively and caused quite a few turnovers.”

The win kept Kirtland in reach of division lead Harvey, who remains 4-0 in league play and beat the Hornets, 56-48, on Dec. 8. The two teams could play for the conference title on Feb. 4 at Harvey.

“I’m hoping somebody can give them a loss and then if we can beat them we can win it outright,” Bell said. “If that doesn’t happen it will come down to us and Harvey in that final game. It’s going to be a big game.”

Kirtland hosts Willoughby South on Monday.

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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