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    Hornets run out of time in loss to Garfield

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    CORTLAND—Time wasn’t on Kirtland’s side in a 58-56 loss to Garrettsville Garfield in Wednesday’s Division III district semifinal at Lakeview High School.

    Trailing by one with the final seconds ticking away, the Hornets lost possession under the basket and were called for a foul in the scramble for the loose ball. Garfield’s Caitlin Lutz sank one of two free throws and Kirtland’s season came to an end before the rebound on the second shot landed.

    “I think with any Kirtland athlete, girls’ basketball especially, you’re going to get 200-percent at all times,” Kirtland coach Brittany Zele said. “The only difference with that effort is decision-making. We got better at it as the game continued on. They never got defeated. I am beyond proud of how these girls carried themselves.”

    The Hornets had every reason to pack it in early.

    Garfield standout Grace Mills had scored 17 points in the first half as the G-Men took a 32-21 lead into the locker room.

    Kirtland’s Macy McIntosh, who scored eight points in the first quarter, spent most of the second on the bench as she found herself in early foul trouble.

    Seniors Lauren Snyder and Julia Camino were held scoreless in the first quarter and the two had combined for just five points at the break.

    “I was tough on them at halftime,” Zele said. “Our biggest obstacle is ourselves at times and that first half showed it. How they responded was remarkable. Everyone in the gym could feel their energy and could see their determination.”

    Kirtland scored the first four points of the second half to pull to within 32-25 but the G-Men answered with their own four-point run.

    Garfield then put together a five-point run that closed out the third quarter and opened the fourth to push its lead to 46-31 with seven minutes remaining.

    The Hornets took over from there.

    Snyder scored 12 points off two 3-pointers and three jump shots and Reilly Greenlee also hit a 3. Haley Coso added six points in the quarter and McIntosh and Amber Yurick both hit a pair of free throws.

    It was Snyder’s 3-pointer with 2:15 left that gave the Hornets a 54-53 lead.

    “There aren’t many teams who play a full-court man with seven girls and are able to fight their way out of a 15-point deficit,” Zele said. “Lauren Snyder put the team on her shoulders and did what a Snyder does. I challenged Julia at halftime and her response was exactly what I wanted. She played aggressively and got to the hoop; made smart decisions. Reilly Greenlee stepped up big on defense and was everywhere on the court, creating turnovers and getting steals. Being undersized, Macy and Haley battled on the boards and had some key blocks. Even though Grace Mills had a standout night, I thought Amber Yurick played tremendous defense on her; nothing was easy. Leah (LaVerde) got in and caused them to foul by driving to the hoop and going for rebounds.”

    Mills finished with a game-high 23 points but just four of those came from the floor in the second half.

    Sarah Seaman added nine and Trinity Williamson, Madeline Shirkey and Jenna Smith each contributed to the win with eight points.

    Snyder led Kirtland with 19 points and McIntosh also scored in double figures with 14. Coso finished with eight, Greenlee added seven, and Camino and Yurick both pitched in with four points.

    “This loss is definitely going to sting for a while,” Zele said. “It’s going to be hard to replace Julia and Lauren. They had such a huge impact on the program. I think this is going to stick with the underclassmen. They have already asked when we start workouts. What more could I ask for?”

    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    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.
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