Hornets clinch share of CVC title

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Kirtland 69, Independence 41

KIRTLAND— Sydney Snyder scored a game-high 23 points and Jenna Sayle added 19 to lead Kirtland to a 69-41 win over visiting Independence on Saturday.

With the win, the Hornets improved to 20-0 overall and 12-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division. They clinched at least a share of the league title and can clinch it outright with a win at Hawken on Wednesday.

“They’re an amazing group,” said Kirtland coach Bob Bell of his players. “The record, the undefeated streak, has not bothered them one bit. They’ve played right through it. I’m so proud of them for that.”

The Hornets needed overtime to beat Independence back on January 6 but quickly took control of Saturday’s rematch on their home court.

Kirtland led 15-9 after the first quarter and 40-21 at halftime.

“They played us the toughest of any team so far this year, as far as the score and anytime you go into overtime it was a close game, so we knew it was going to be a tough game,” Bell said. “They’ve got a lot of talent. They’ve got speed; they’ve got some size and outside shooters. They’re a challenge.”

Lauren Snyder and Amber Yurick both contributed nine points to Kirtland’s win and Lauren Lutz pitched in with four points and tied Sydney Snyder and Sayle with a team-high six rebounds.

“It was a really nice, well-balanced game,” Bell said. “Katie McCollister does such a wonderful job for us getting us into our offense and out front putting pressure on the opponents with her defense. Lauren Lutz had a nice game inside. Amber Yurick and Julia Camino couldn’t have played any better off the bench.

Erica Esper led Independence with 13 points and Riley Wilson contributed with 10.

“She has the ability to string them together,” said Independence coach Mike Marcinko of Esper. “Obviously, we’ve got to be more consistent but she has the ability and that’s why we get her in.”

Independence dropped to 10-7 overall and 6-5 in league play.

Kirtland 69, Independence 41

Independence (6-8, 6-5 CVC): Wilson 10, Ksiasko 2, Esper 13, Dimitruk 6, Pillar 1, Stepanik 4, Wilmot 2, DiGeronimo 3

Kirtland (20-0, 12-0 CVC): McAllister 1, Snyder 9, S. Snyder 23, Sayle 19, Lutz 4, Yurick 9, Camino 2, Koso 2

Independence 9 12 11 9 — 41
Kirtland 15 25 18 11 — 69

Free throws: Independence 13 of 20, Kirtland 16 of 27; 3-pointers: Independence 4 (Esper 3, DeGeronimo), Kirtland 1 (L. Snyder); Rebounds: Independence 23, Kirtland 33 (S.Snyder, Sale, Lutz 6); Assists: Independence 7, Kirtland 18 (S. Snyder 6)

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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.