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    Independence dominates second half in win at Mansfield Christian

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    Independence dominated the second half on the way to a 41-37 win over host Mansfield Christian at the Wayne Roller Holiday Showcase on Friday.

    The Blue Devils trailed 24-13 at halftime but outscored the Flames in the fourth quarter, 12-2, to seal their come-from-behind win.

    “We had a long bus ride and got into a lot of foul trouble in the first half, so we were very sloppy, but we adjusted,” said Independence coach Hugh McMahon. “They did a great job of taking our halftime adjustments and executing those, which put is in the right defensive positions and we shut them down in the second half.”

    Mansfield Christian used its size advantage to build its early lead.

    The Flames attacked Independence’s undersized lineup to earn free trips to the free throw line where they converted on 12-of-17 free throw tries in the first half.

    McMahon adjusted how the Blue Devils defended and that move paid off down the stretch.

    We just wanted to deny them the ball and pressure the basketball, and we got into better positions, and they didn’t have any easy passes,” he said. “Offensively, we decided to attack the basket and we did a good job of getting to the free throw line as well as just getting some easy looks.”

    Paige Priebe went scoreless in the first half but sparked the Blue Devils with a six-point third quarter and four more in the fourth to finish with a team-high 10 points.

    Emily Gibbons scored seven of her eight in the second half and Lucy Spencer added five of her seven in the final 16 minutes.

    Addy Walker returned to the lineup and pitched in with five points, including a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. Makenna Rini, Macey McGhee, and Elyse Grill each scored three points, and Anna Johnson finished with two.

    With the win, the Blue Devils improved to 4-5 on the year and won back-to-back games for the first time this season.

    While Walker returned to the lineup, the Blue Devils were missing Casey Adams and still have other players banged up.

    “We’ve had people in and out of the lineup due to a variety of reasons,” McMahon said. “I think the team has really accepted the challenge and they try to get better in their own way. I’m impressed with how much we’ve grown to this point and I think there’s still more to and I’m excited to see what we can do with a full complement of players.”

    The Blue Devils travel to Cuyahoga Heights on Friday, Jan. 5.

     

     

    Steve Hare
    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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