Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Weber’s double-double keys Independence in win over Orange

Anna Weber recorded a double-double and two other Independence players scored in double figures as the Blue Devils downed visiting Orange in a nonconference game on Saturday, 56-39.

Weber finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds in leading the Blue Devils to their third straight win of the season.

“I think it might have been her best all-around game with assists, getting the ball out on fast breaks, rebounding, both offensively and defensively, defending, and scoring,” Independence coach Mike Marcinko said. “If you’re going to get 12 rebounds it’s not by accident. She was getting herself in the right spot and she had some really nice assists in transition. It was just a nice, well-rounded game for her.”

Weber scored five points in the first quarter to help the Blue Devils build an 18-8 lead.

Her performance was especially important as Riley Wilson and Madison Stepanik both found themselves in early foul trouble.

Wilson scored just two of her team-high 15 in the first half and scored three of her seven in the first 16 minutes.

“Our effort, mentally and physically, defensively and rebounding defensively, really helped us because Riley Wilson only played about four minutes in the first half. She was in foul trouble and sat the rest of the half. Madison probably only played the first quarter because she had two fouls,” Marcinko said. “We were deep into the bench and played two freshmen, Natalie George and Kara DeSmith, along with Reni Kaiser and the regulars that got in. Those guys really pitched in.”

Despite the foul trouble, Independence led at halftime, 29-18.

Wilson took over in the second half.

“It was typical Riley,” Marcinko said. “She had a couple of drives and pullups and threes, some free throws and rebounding. In the second half, she was able to get into the flow and play 80-90-percent of the second half until we subbed.”

The Blue Devils focused on slowing down Orange’s dynamic duo of Kaydan Lawson and Mahogany Sanford, who combined for 27 of the Lions’ 36 points.

Lawson, a University of Virginia commitment, scored 17 points and was 5-for-5 from the free throw line while Sanford finished with 10 points on three 3-pointers.

No other Orange player scored more than four points.

“The biggest key was us defensively rebounding and getting out in transition really kept us out in front of Orange when we had both Riley and Madison not playing,” Marcinko said. “The one thing we talked about in the prep is in a sense we wanted to validate our win over Brush. The girls put the work in and we definitely took turns in the matchup with (Lawson). We played more zone than we would have liked to because we played matchup and shaded to wherever she was. Between Haylee Dmitruk, Reni, (Riccela DiGeronimo), Natalie George, who came off the bench, there was always somebody within arm’s reach of her in an attempt to slow her down and make sure she didn’t get clean looks. We figured if she doesn’t go wild then that would put us in a good position. I think we kind of corralled her the best we could.”

Stepanik finished with seven points for the Blue Devils and Dmitruk added four and a team-high 11 assists.

Independence opens conference play on Wednesday when rival Cuyahoga Heights visits. Orange hosts Bedford on Wednesday.

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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