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    Blue Devils ride stingy defense to win


    Independence hadn’t played a game in nearly three weeks but that didn’t hurt the Blue Devils as they rode a stingy defense to a 59-40 win over visiting Trinity on Friday.

    The Blue Devils allowed just three first-quarter points and 14 in the first half.

    “I thought we set the tone defensively,” said Independence coach Kyle Johnson. “There was a stretch there where we had eight out of 10 defensive stops to start the game. We were contesting shots and keeping guys in front of us. It was exciting to see, especially since we haven’t played since Dec. 19, so it was good to come out crisp and to set the tone from the get-go.”

    With its defense shutting down the Trojans, Independence was turning loose balls into transition scoring opportunities.

    That led to three players scoring in double figures.

    Kyle Zygmunt and Aidan Cojohn both scored 12 and Eric Mitrisin pitched in with 11 points.

    “It started on the defensive end but offensively, we did a nice job sharing the ball and running our sets and then getting out in transition,” Johnson said. “We always talk about getting stops on defense. You can’t control whether your shot is going to go in on the offensive end but we’ve been really stressing on keeping the ball in front and contesting every shot and I thought we did an excellent job of that. That’s what good teams do. We’ve got to continue to do that.”

    Mark Tripodi, Adam Miklovic and Connor Blum all pitched in with five points and Matt Richards added four. Casey McGhee and Jack Taliaferro scored three and two points, respectively.

    Isaiah King led Trinity with 12 points and Keon Holland finished with 11.

    Independence hosts Hawken 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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