Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Kirtland runs away from Berkshire

KIRTLAND—The Kirtland girls’ basketball team shook off a slow start and cruised to a 65-20 win over visiting Berkshire in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division opener for both teams.

With the win, the Hornets improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in league play.

“We wanted to come out and establish our defense and I think we did that,” said Kirtland coach Bob Bell. “It took us a little while to get an adjustment. We went from the man-to-man to a little bit of a trapping zone, which we do a good bit of. I thought it kind of gave us the edge we needed to take control of the game.”

Kirtland led just 9-7 after the first quarter but broke it open in the second by outscoring the Badgers, 21-4. A 20-3 third quarter put the Badgers away.

Senior Taylor Somodji scored a game-high 29 points for the Hornets.

“She’s been playing so well and her teammates have been complementing her so well, finding her when she’s been open and getting her the ball,” Bell said.

Deanna Ponzani and Sydney Snyder both had eight points for Kirtland and Claire Neibecker and Jenna Sayle pitched in with six.

“I thought we spread the ball around pretty well tonight,” Bell said.

Bell credited his defense for creating more offensive opportunities.

“The defense set it all up,” he said. “(In the second half) I think maybe we read a little bit bitter and anticipated a little bit better. We didn’t do anything from the standpoint of changing our defenses. I think it was just more the way we approached it. I thought the kids played it with more confidence.”

Gina Ponzani (4), Kerri Zalba (2) and Katie McCollister (2) also scored for Kirtland.

Sarah Luoma led Berkshire with five points and Erin Drew scored four for the Badgers, who dropped to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the CVC.

Kirtland travels to Willoughby South on Friday while Berkshire hosts Cuyahoga Heights on Saturday.


Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, 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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