Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Kirtland hangs on for win at Independence

Tommy Powers and Adam Mueller both scored in double figures to lead Kirtland to a 66-55 Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division win at Independence on Tuesday.

The Hornets improved to 8-0 overall and 6-0 in league play while the Blue Devils fell to 5-7, 3-4.

“It’s always difficult to win on the road in the conference,” Kirtland coach Shawn McGregor said. “Independence did a great job executing in the half court and forcing us out of our rhythm on the offensive end.”

Mueller hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first half to help the Hornets build a 31-27 lead. Powers scored seven of his 11 in the second half as the Hornets took advantage of several Independence turnovers that led to layups.

“In the second half, we picked up our defensive pressure and got some easy looks in transition,” McGregor said. “Dominic Capretta and Tommy Powers did a good job of getting us into our offense in the second half and we were able to make enough plays to hold on. “

Capretta, Seann McGill, Dawson Cosgrove and Zach Samsa all contributed to the win with seven points. Mike Bottesch added six points, Jack Bailey scored five and Connor Gron and Luke Camino finished with four and two points, respectively.

“Tommy Powers, Mike Bottesch and Connor Gron provided a much-needed spark for us off the bench,” McGregor said. “The bench bunch has been key for us throughout the first part of the year and we continue to have balanced scoring and contributions throughout the lineup.”

Wyatt Flynn led the Blue Devils with 15 points and Kyle Zygmunt also scored in double figures with 13.

“Kirtland is well-coached and athletic, and I loved how we battled the entire game,” Independence coach Hugh McMahon said. “In order to beat a team like Kirtland, we have to carry that passion over to our execution down the stretch. I believe our young men can take that next step.”

The Hornets return to action at Wickliffe on Thursday while Independence plays at rival Cuyahoga Heights on Friday.

Kirtland 66, Independence 55

Kirtland (8-0, 6-0 CVC): Capretta 7, Mueller 10, Cosgrove 7, Powers 11, Samsa 7, Bottesch 6, Gron 4, Camino 2, McGill 7, Bailey 5.

Independence (5-7, 2-5 CVC): Flynn 15, Mitrisin 9, Blum 3, Richards 2, McMahon 8, Zygmunt 13, Synek 5.

Kirtland 11 20 18 17 — 66
Independence 9 18 12 16 — 55

Rebounds: Kirtland 33 (Capretta 6); Assists: Kirtland, Powers 3.

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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