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    Independence goes wire-to-wire in win over Crestwood

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    INDEPENDENCE—Kyle Zygmunt scored a game-high 22 points as Independence went wire-to-wire in beating visiting Crestwood on Friday.

    The Blue Devils, who improved to 6-6 with their third straight win, used their defense to set up their offense, but it was the missed opportunities that left Independence head coach Kyle Johnson focused on cleaning up moving forward.

    “I think early on, especially the first half, we tried to play faster than we can and I think that led to some missed opportunities,” said Independence coach Kyle Johnson. “We go for a steal and we get it and we’re going so fast we fumble it off our hands and it goes out of bounds. We never really got the momentum going.”

    Landon Jatsek scored four of his eight points in the first quarter as the Blue Devils jumped out to an early 10-4 lead.

    Zygmunt got hot in the second and scored 11 points to push the lead to 29-18 at the break.

    “We started to get a few stops which led to some run outs the correct way,” Johnson said. “Instead of us dribbling, we were passing ahead and we got some easy buckets to kind of get us going.”

    The Blue Devils used a balanced offense in the second half to hold off the Red Devils.

    Zygmunt scored five points in the third quarter and four in the fourth, Casey McGhee added all four of his points in the third quarter, and Aidan Coljohn added four in the third and fourth quarters.

    Coljohn finished with 14 points, Jatsek contributed with eight, and Joey Jirmasek, McGhee, and Jack Taliaferro each scored four. Sam Crooks added two points in the win.

    Jatsek and Coljohn teamed up to fill the role vacated by Braden Flynn when he left with an injury.

    “I talked to Landon and Aiden at halftime and I said, ‘Guys, Braden is out and we need you guys to step up and provide some offense for us,’” Johnson said. “They did a nice job of that in the second half to kind of open the game up and seal the deal.”

    Charlie Schwweikert led Crestwood with 10 points and Ty Fannin added nine. Sharpshooter Dekota Johnson was limited to just seven points.

    Independence hosts rival Cuyahoga Heights on Tuesday while Crestwood hosts Wickliffe.

    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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