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    Blue Devils open league play with win


    Independence opened league play with a 56-37 win over visiting Brooklyn on Wednesday.

    The Blue Devils, who improved to 6-2 overall, had three players score in double figures in the win.

    “The most important thing we do is play league games. That’s always our focus,” said Independence coach Mike Marcinko. “We wanted to get out to a good start as far as getting the first conference win. The task at hand was completed.”

    Riccela DiGeronimo scored a game-high 15 points.

    “It’s always huge to get the first win in a conference opener,” she said. “It gives us the energy and momentum we need to move on to the next games and play the way we want. We started off a bit slower than we would’ve liked in the beginning of the game but we adjusted and played the way we wanted. We started to kick the ball up the court and get to the rim and make some contact.”

    Addie Westerburg and Madison Stepanik each scored 10 points and Anna Weber pitched in with nine points.

    “Mads controlled the middle and Addie Westerburg did a really nice job again,” Marcinko said. “That’s two games back to back in double figures. She did a nice job defending and scoring and giving us some sort of organization and energy offensively. Anna always finds a way to get hot in a certain quarter. When they kind of key on her early then they kind of lose her and forget about her. We make a couple of adjustments and get a good screen for her then she finds herself open and knocks down a couple of 3s.”

    Ashley Adams contributed with two points but she provided the Blue Devils with a spark off the bench.

    “Her minutes have been expanding,” Marcinko said. “She has a lot of energy. We were a little bit flat today, not where we want to be, and she came in and brought a ton of energy getting steals and deflections, driving hard to the rim and getting fouled. Today, it seems like we were just trying to find players to give us energy so it was nice to have Ashley and Addie do that off the bench for us.”

    The Blue Devils host Trinity on Saturday in a game with league title implications.

    “It was a great team win against Brooklyn and we are very excited to be 1-0 in the conference, but now we have to go back to work and focus on Trinity,” DiGeronimo said. “We’ve had very good practices this week and we are going to continue that and get ready for the big game on Saturday.”

    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, 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, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the 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.
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