KIRTLAND—Natalie Glowe scored a team-high 11 points and Emily Ridgeway added 10 in leading Kirtland to a 43-26 win over visiting Lutheran West on Friday.
The Hornets used their size advantage to control the boards and used an inside-out game to set up their offense in improving to 3-1 on the year.
“Most people had five scrimmages but only had one because our (fall sports) postseasons went deep,” said Kirtland coach Matt Ridgeway. “I was looking at that the other day and these early games are all scrimmages for us.”
Despite having four seniors on the roster, the Hornets are relatively young as only two of those seniors have high school basketball experience and Marissa Carmosino, a returning starter, has yet to see the floor due to an injury.
Kirtland’s relative inexperience has led to some inconsistent performances in the first four games, but each night, the Hornets are showing improvement and a better understanding of their individual roles.
“I told the girls some of our lack of offense has been my fault because I haven’t put them in the right position because I don’t know them yet,” said Ridgeway, who is in his first season coaching the girls. “Seeing game action really helps and tonight, we did some things that we’ve been practicing. We made some mistakes, but we will correct those. Overall, I’m very, very happy.”
The Hornets held a slim 10-7 advantage after the first quarter and then Emily Ridgeway hit a 3-pointer early in the second that sparked Kirtland’s 11-2 run that helped the Hornets take a 23-12 lead into the break.
Glowe added six points in the second quarter to finish her first half with 10 of her 11.
“Natalie gave us a presence down inside and she had quite a few buckets there,” Coach Ridgeway said. “When she starts doing that, the defense gets compacted and that’s when Emily can open up a little bit.”
The Hornets continued to stymie the Longhorns in the second half and limited Lutheran West to just 14 points in the final 16 minutes.
Kirtland’s offense was more balanced in the second half as Kennedy Boyd scored all four of her points in the final two frames and Julia Fleming, Lily Hocevar, Corinne Greenlee, Ridgeway, Jaden Attinato, and Kristiana Katic each added points down the stretch.
“We controlled the ball a little bit better than we have and we got a few extra shots,” Coach Ridgeway said. “I really liked the way Kennedy Boyd took the ball to the basket in the second half with some confidence, and we had our two guards up front, Corinne and Julia, and they can really handle the ball. Having Julia Fleming takes a lot of pressure off Corinne and that really helped us.”
Greenlee finished with six points, Boyd, Attinato, and Katic each scored four, and Fleming and Hocevar both pitched in with two points.
Aliciana Medina led Lutheran West with a game-high 12 points. Ava Adya added five, Ella McCarty scored three, and Abbey Hammer-Huber and Ella Heisner both scored two points for the Longhorns, who dropped to 2-3.
With the win, Kirtland improved to 3-1 on the year.
The Hornets are eager to return to the court on Tuesday against league rival Berkshire, and Coach Ridgeway will continue to find ways to use his team’s size to his advantage, especially when Carmosino returns to action in the near future.
“We’ll use some different defenses and we have different offensive sets for those kinds of kids,” he said. “We miss Marissa and her leadership. She has a lot of speed and competitiveness, but right now, it’s giving a lot of other kids a chance to play and you want to take it as the glass is half full in that situation.”