Kirtland junior Brynn Bradac has played a complementary role all season long.
In Wednesday’s 47-38 win over visiting Wickliffe, Bradac’s role was to energize the Hornets on both ends of the court.
“We just didn’t play well but we had a spark in the third quarter when Brynn Bradac came in,” said Kirtland coach Matt Ridgeway. “She had seven points in the second half, and she got us some nice rebounds and hit a couple of threes to spark us.”
The Hornets jumped out to a 10-0 lead but allowed the Blue Devils to work their way back into the game.
Wickliffe outscored the Hornets 16-13 after that initial run and trailed just 23-16 at halftime.
Bradac drained a clutch 3-pointer in the third to help pick the Hornets up and they went on to outscore the Blue Devils in the second half, 24-19.
“We’ve played 14 kids all year and I’ve told them their set might be game 18, game 14, just be ready,” Ridgeway said. “It’s so cool that a kid like that had her moment. She believed all year that at some point she’d get the chance. Some kids might put their head down, but she didn’t.”
For Bradac, she did what she was coached to do.
“It was really fun getting to play with all my teammates tonight,” she said. “Whatever I am asked to do, I just truly love being a part of this team and want to set a great model for all of the younger girls who come out and cheer us on.”
Despite her humbleness, Bradac’s big night has her playing with even more confidence heading down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs.
“Tonight is just a reflection of what I have been working towards,” she said. “Coach Ridgeway, Coach (Piper) Greenlee, Coach (Alex) Ardo, and my teammates have really helped me build my confidence. I am really excited to see how far we can go in the postseason.”
Corinne Greenlee led the Hornets with 13 points, Natalie Glowe contributed with 11, Emily Ridgeway scored five, Marissa Carmosino and Kristiana Katic each finished with four, and Julia Fleming pitched in with three points.
With the win, Kirtland improved to 11-7 overall and 6-1 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division. The Hornets will earn a share of the Valley Division championship with a win over Crestwood at home on Saturday. Kirtland can win the title outright with a win over the Red Devils and a Berkshire loss.
Ava Gabriel led Wickliffe with a game-high 19 points.