Sunday, February 25, 2024

Owen Lewis sets new school record as Kirtland tops Fairport

Owen Lewis stole the show in Kirtland’s 81-54 win over visiting Fairport Harding on Friday.

The junior guard scored a game-high 25 points and in the process set a new school record with seven 3-pointers in a single game.

“Owen’s one of those kids when he sees one goes in the hoop becomes an ocean for him,” said Kirtland head coach Nick Gallo. “It was really fun to see such a nice kid.”

Lewis found his rhythm early as the Hornets built a 49-25 halftime lead.

He picked up in the second half right where he left off.

“I think it was on the fifth three that he made, he had it going but I was calling for a set because the score was getting out of reach and I wanted to call something and Owen just pulled one from 30 (feet). I just had to shake my head,” Gallo said. “It was a pretty cool moment. A couple people said, ‘Coach, you’ve got to smile about that.’ When he hit the seventh one I was really happy for him. For a kid like that to be in the record books at Kirtland, and being only a junior with such a bright future the rest of the season and next season, it’s going to be cool to see. It’s great he’s part of history for Kirtland right now. Maybe he’ll add to it in another game.”

Lewis was one of four Hornets to score in double figures in the game.

Sam Skiljan scored 16, Jacob Boyd added 14 and Matt Grazia, who set up all of Kirtland’s scorers, contributed with 10.

“We did a really good job of attacking the rim and really playing inside out,” Gallo said. “Matt Grazia really attacked the gaps early and we kicked out to the shooters. I thought it was Matt’s best floor tonight. He was really solid for us tonight. It was his best floor game for sure. Jacob Boyd had a nine point first quarter. We really shot the ball really well tonight and played with a better pace. We got the ball ahead and did the things that we talked about, run to score, run to score. We did a good job of that tonight.”

Skiljan, who leads the Hornets with 10.9 points per game, continued to play consistently for the Hornets.

“Sam Skiljan had another nice game,” Gallo said. “He’s quiet but he does everything you ask him to do. He plays hard defensively and does all the little things, runs to score, attacks the rim. He’s doing the little things against the zone because a lot of teams are zoning us and he’s dropping down in the gray areas and really attacking for us and being real creative around the rim to score.”

With backup point guard David Allchin in a walking boot sophomores Palmer Capretta and Jeremy Davis have been called on to spell Grazia. Capretta scored two points and Davis added three but their contributions in distributing the basketball were even more important.

“Just taking on this new responsibility of playing a couple quarters for us, it’s going to come with the responsibility of backing up Matt and Sam and they’re really going to grow,” Gallo said. “It’s going to be fun to see how they mature as they learn from Matt and Sam of how to play those roles. It’s a great experience for them.”

The Hornets, who improved to 10-6 overall and 6-4 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division, put their two-game winning streak on the line when they travel to Lutheran East on Monday.

Steve Hare
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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