Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Kirtland cruises past Independence

Prior to Tuesday’s Chagrin Valley Conference game against visiting Independence the Kirtland’s boys’ basketball team last took the floor on Dec. 23.

The long break obviously didn’t hurt the Hornets as they jumped out to a 36-14 halftime lead and went on to beat the Blue Devils, 61-39.

“I thought we came out with a lot of good energy,” said Kirtland coach Nick Gallo. “We told them we wanted a lot of deflections and a lot of steals and to push the pace a little bit against these guys to make their ball handlers make difficult decisions. I thought we did a good job of that.”

Palmer Capretta scored a game-high 18 points for the Hornets and Brandon Samsa also reached double figures with 10. Adam Mueller pitched in with eight points, Dylan Fulco and Dominic Capretta each finished with seven and Jeremy Davis dropped in six for Kirtland.

“We got some really good contributions across the board,” Gallo said. “We were able to cause havoc as a team and play with enough pace, especially in the first half. Being up early helped. Not playing a game for 10 days, you lose your gas a little bit earlier, but we were up 36-14 at the break. We played a bunch of guys in the second half and we did a good job of stepping on their throat early in the first half and putting the game away early.”

Kyle Stefanski led Independence with 12 points and Andrew Teribery closed out the game with nine.

“We didn't do a great job of rebounding,” Gallo said. “They missed some easy shots. The game could have been a little closer in the first half but we did a good job of just making them taking quick, rushed shots and making them a little more difficult.”

Kirtland improved to 4-2 overall and 4-1 in the CVC Valley Division. Independence dropped to 1-7, 1-4.

Kirtland 61, Independence 39

Independence: Wiggonski 2, Marotta 0, Ksiazka 1, Molchar 0, Stefanski 12, Hall 4, Kuczanski 0, Allen 2, Bretz 2, Terryberry 9, Patel 2

Kirtland (4-2, 3-1 CVC): D.Capretta 7, P. Capretta 18, Samsa10, Davis 6, Krulc 0, Fulco 7, Work 0, Mueller 8, Cosgrove 0, Powers 3, Potosky 0, Bailey 2

Independence 8 6 15 10 — 39
Kirtland 17 19 12 13 — 61

Free throws: Independence 11 of 17, Kirtland 7 of 13; 3-pointers: Independence 0, Kirtland 6 (P. Capretta 3, Davis 2, Fulco); JV: Kirtland 63, Independence 45



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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