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    Grand Valley tops Kirtland for third straight conference win

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    ORWELL—Grand Valley led from whistle to whistle in a 42-37 win over visiting Kirtland on Tuesday.

    With the win, the Mustangs improved to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division. Grand Valley clinched its third straight conference win and remains in a first-place tie with Crestwood.

    “The girls are doing a great job of picking up on things,” said Grand Valley coach Zach Sirrine. “They’ve been open-minded.”

    Grand Valley led by as many as nine points twice in the game, but the Hornets rallied back to make it a one-possession game each time.

    The Mustangs responded to Kirtland’s runs by clamping down on the defensive end.

    “We rely on our defensive fundamentals,” Sirrine said. “It’s something we lean on when we’re going through those offensive struggles.”

    Reagan Boiarski led the way for the Mustangs. She finished with 14 points and shot 50 percent from the floor and 8-of-10 from the free throw line.

    Dixie Miller and Kaelyn Hart each contributed with nine points and Morgan Crawford pitched in with eight.

    “We’re a relatively young team, as far as varsity experience goes,” Sirrine said. “They’ve gained experience and it’s starting to pay off.”

    Kirtland dropped to 2-4 overall and 2-3 in league play.

    “We just haven’t finished games,” said Kirtland coach Matt Ridgeway. “Credit to the kids, they played hard, persevered, and never gave up.”

    Kristiana Katic led the Hornets with 14 points while going 10-of-14 from the line.

    Emily Ridgeway drained a pair of 3-pointers on her way to a 12-point night.

    “The more touches they get the better our team is,” Ridgeway said. “That was our objective and it worked today.”

    Kirtland has now lost three games in a row by an average of five points per game.

    “In these close games we’ve got to finish,” Ridgeway said. “We have to learn how to finish taking the lead and maintaining it.”

    Kirtland looks to bounce back on Dec. 21 when the Hornets travel to West Geauga. Grand Valley returns to action on Dec. 27 when the Mustangs will host Conneaut.

     

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