Monday, January 30, 2023

Kirtland stays in hunt for CVC title with win over Fairport

KIRTLAND—Kirtland’s race back to the top of the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division is still on track after Wednesday’s 49-28 win over visiting Fairport Harding.

The Hornets improved to 3-1 in league play and remain tied in first place with Harvey. The Red Raiders defeated the Hornets earlier this season.

“It’s going to be tight,” said Kirtland coach Bob Bell. “There’s still a lot of league games to play yet. We’ve got to go back to Fairport. We still have to go back to Harvey and we still have to play Cardinal and Berkshire each one more time here.”

Kirtland’s goal is to take the rest of the season one game at a time and that’s what the Hornets did against Fairport.

After taking a 12-11 lead into the second quarter the Hornets outscored the Skippers 16-7 in the second.

“In the second quarter we made a little adjustment in the offense to try to get the ball in the middle a little bit more,” Bell said. “I think by doing that it kind of opened a lot of things up. The middle, they’ve got to pay attention to that and the kick out pass is there. I think that was really the key.”

Kirtland’s Taylor Somodji led all scorers with 12 points and Samantha Achauer and Deanna Ponzani both scored 10 for the Hornets. Claire Neibecker contributed with eight and Sydney Snyder added six for Kirtland.

“That’s pretty balanced scoring,” Bell said. “They came out with a combination zone and man on Sam Achauer and I thought our girls handled that very well. We just tried to take advantage of the other four possibilities we had on the floor and it worked out pretty well. I think that’s why the scoring was a little more balanced tonight than usual.”

Ponzani came off the bench to tie Somodji for the team lead in rebounds. She has averaged nine points in her last three games and has really started to play well after starting the season sidelined with an injury.

“She is getting better every game,” Bell said. “Double figures off the bench and she had six rebounds, which looks like she would be tied for the team leader with Taylor. She’s playing very solid.”

Neibecker also had a solid game on both ends of the floor. In addition to her offensive output she recorded three steals.

“She’s been playing really solid defense for us all year,” Bell said. “She played a good ball game for us.”

Morgan Ondo led Fairport with nine points and Sammie Manross added five for the Skippers.


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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