Ehrbar scores 28 in West Geauga’s win at Geneva

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GENEVA—Nikki Ehrbar scored a game-high 28 points to lead West Geauga to a 48-35 Chagrin Valley Conference win at Geneva on Wednesday.

Ehrbar scored 24 points in the first half as the Wolverines built a 27-23 halftime lead.

“She’s quite an athlete,” West Geauga coach Bob Beutel said of Ehrbar. “I’m so pleased with her progress and what she brings to the team. She brings a lot of energy and the kids look to her a little bit.”

The Wolverines, who improved to 3-0 overall, relied on Ehrbar on both ends of the court, at least in the first half.

She scored 12 of those first-half points off of her own defensive effort.

“That’s a big part of my team, especially being on the wing,” Ehrbar said. “The good on-ball pressure allowed me to be able to read the steal and be able to get it. I was pretty excited. I really wanted to win tonight. Geneva is always good competition and we were really looking forward to tonight’s game.”

West Geauga began to pull away in the second quarter but Geneva’s Vonda Harold and Olivia Wilms combined for a 5-0 run to keep the Eagles within striking distance at the break.

Geneva then outscored West Geauga in the third quarter, 8-6.

That’s when West Geauga’s defense took over and the Wolverines closed out the game on a 15-4 run.

“That was a little different energy there,” Beutel said. “We basically did the same thing but we tried to overplay a little bit more. That was our goal the first half, but we didn’t do so well with that in the first half. The second half was pretty solid.”

With Geneva focused on stopping Ehrbar in the second half, West Geauga had several other players step up to make plays.

“We had a bunch of kids come in and play a nice role,” Beutel said. “Lauren Munko came off the bench and had about four or five steals. Bella Burkhard came in and played a nice steady game. Athena Hocevar warmed up and hit some threes and got a lot of defensive rebounds. These kids are learning. They’re learning a lot and it’s nice to have a nice lesson like this and come away with a W.”

West Geauga travels to Hawken on Saturday while Geneva, who dropped to 1-3, hosts Orange.

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. 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.