KIRTLAND—T.J. Green scored a game-high 24 points to lead Kirtland to a regular-season ending 61-51 victory over visiting Lake Catholic on Saturday.
Green was one of three Hornets to score in double figures in the win.
“Lake Catholic is a good program so for us to get a win at home really means a lot to us and our program,” said Kirtland coach Shawn McGregor. “The seniors played really well and set the tone. They did the same thing on Thursday against Conneaut. Their effort and what they’ve done for the program over the last four years, we want to pay tribute to that.”
Kirtland found its offensive groove early as Joey Grazia opened the game with a seven-point first quarter and Green and Anthony DeMarco each scored six in the first eight minutes of play.
Green scored all eight of Kirtland’s second-quarter points as the Hornets took a 29-18 lead into the locker room.
“We talked about getting good ball movement and continuing the good play we had on Thursday” McGregor said. “A lot of guys got touches and we did a good job of rotating the ball to find the open man. T.J. did a good job of playing hard and making plays early on. His jump shot was going early and that really ignited us. Liam Powers and Mason Sullivan brought a lot of energy at the beginning of the game. Their defense has really helped us a lot.”
DeMarco finished the game with 16 points while Grazia contributed with 13.
Lake Catholic had three players score in double figures including Aidan Fitzgerald, who led the Cougars with 13 points, and Robert Russell and Peyton Budrys-Rini, who finished with 12 and 11, respectively.
Kirtland closed out the regular season with a 9-8 record.
The 15th-seeded Hornets open the postseason on Tuesday at No. 15 West Salem Northwestern.
“I think we’re in good shape,” McGregor said of Kirtland’s preparation for the postseason. “We played a lot of games this week and I think they’re ready. The seniors have been looking to get to the tournament. We played some big schools and some other schools to prepare us for a playoff run and they have bought into it. We’re very excited to get to the postseason and see what happens.”