Sunday, October 2, 2022

Tigers close year with sixth straight win

Junior Carolyn Bencko scored 20 points to lead Chagrin Falls to a 48-45 win at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin on Saturday.

The Tigers closed out 2018 with an 8-2 record and plenty of momentum as they head into the second half of the season.

“We are in a completely different position than we were this time last year, so this is very exciting,” Chagrin Falls coach Brittany Anderson said. “We remember how it felt and haven’t looked back. This team truly takes it one game at a time and focuses on the task in front of them.”

The win was the sixth straight for the Tigers since a 46-44 loss to Orange on Dec. 5.

Chagrin’s success is the result of a team-first approach and each player has been accountable for her own responsibilities on a daily basis.

“The girls do a great job of building each other up and understanding what it means to be a good teammate,” Anderson said. “We’ve been having a lot of fun this season because we’re confident in one another. Each game, someone else might step up or it might be your turn to be the role player and we’ve understood that and embraced it.”

On Saturday, it was Bencko that stood the tallest on offense. Lily Karyo added 10 points and Bella Dalessandro and Julia Santamaria finished with eight and six, respectively.

“We played really well when we were patient on offense,” Anderson said. “NDCL always plays great defense, so we had to be a little more disciplined and wait for opportunities to develop. We also changed our defense late in the game to apply a little more pressure on their post players and we were able to capitalize on that.”

Karyo scored all 10 of her points from the free throw line, where she was 10-for-12.

“Lily Karyo has played so well the last three games,” Anderson said. “She listens to everything you say. She has such a high basketball IQ and she put herself in position to make plays. Lily got to the line for us today because she was aggressive and cut hard to the hoop.”

Dalessandro led the Tigers with six rebounds and Bencko posted a team-high with three steals.

The Tigers open the New Year at Kirtland on Jan. 3 then begin their second trip through the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division two days later at home against Perry.

“I love going to practice each day,” Anderson said. “I love competing with this team. This group has made it such an enjoyable season. They celebrate one another’s successes and each of them has stepped up in their own way at different times. We’re working on our consistency still, but I’m really too excited to see how we grow from here.”

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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