Hornets bounce back with win at Jefferson

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Brandon Samsa

Kirtland didn’t let Friday’s tough loss at Geneva carry over into Saturday’s non-conference game at Jefferson.

The Hornets used a 21-12 second quarter run to create some space and went on to win, 79-49.

“I thought we played harder,” said Kirtland coach Nick Gallo. “We didn’t play hard enough to win that game on Friday but we’ve done a good job all year of after a loss coming back and getting a win.”

Offensively, the Hornets distributed the basketball to find the open looks and finished off possessions. Eleven different Kirtland players scored in the contest.

“Everyone was very unselfish with the basketball,” Gallo said. “I thought we played inside out and we had 18 offensive rebounds so we had second-chance opportunities. We didn’t get many calls at the rim but I thought we did a good job of continuing to fight and finish plays and complete the possession. Completing the possession is such a key for us right now.”

Luke Camino, who finished with seven points, pulled down many of those rebounds.

“I thought Luke was superb again,” Gallo said. “The last two games, he has played really well and box out and do the little things for us. He scored seven points and he doesn’t get many touches. Getting that from him will help us moving forward.”

Camino did his best to execute the game plan.

“Coach all year has stressed limiting the opponent’s offensive rebounds and I just really have tried to roll with that mentality all year, just really boxing my man out and trying to get anything that comes off of the rim,” Camino said. “I think our team as a whole did really well on the defensive end tonight, just communicating and rotating to always be in the right spots.”

Brandon Samsa scored a team-high 15 points to lead the Hornets on offense but he also played well on the other end.

“I thought it was one of Brandon Samsa’s most complete games tonight,” Gallo said. “He had 15 points and had to lock down their best scorer. He was good on both ends tonight.”

Seann McGill and Dylan Fulco also scored in double figures with 13 and 11, respectively.

Kirtland, who improved to 12-7 overall, hosts Berkshire on Tuesday.

Kirtland 79, Jefferson 49

Kirtland (12-7): Capretta 6, Mueller 6, Samsa 15, Cosgrove 5, Fulco 11, Ridgeway 6, Krulc 4, Work 4, Aquilla 2, Camino 7, McGill 13

Jefferson: Gison 7, Pasanen 14, A. Vance 15, K. Vance 10, Strang 2, Feltz 1

Kirtland 18 21 24 16 — 79
Jefferson 18 12 8 11 — 49

Free throws: Kirtland 5 of 6, Jefferson 4 of 5; 3-pointers: Kirtland 8 (Ridgeway 2, Mueller, Samasa, Cosgrove, Fulco, Camino, McGill), Jefferson 5 (A. Vance 3, Pasanen 2)

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