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    Independence pulls away from Fairview for first win

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    The injury bug has hit the Independence girls’ basketball team hard this winter, but the shorthanded Blue Devils found a way to beat Fairview for their first win of the season on Tuesday, 39-25.

    Trailing 14-13 at halftime, Independence dominated the second half on both ends of the court and outscored the Warriors, 26-11.

    “I’m really happy for the young ladies because they’ve been working hard, we just haven’t been able to really get any traction going with availability; we’ve been kind of hit or miss,” said Independence coach Hugh McMahon. “We’ve been plotting our way through it and this week, they really showed some growth. Tonight, we played a really good second half to kind of put it away.”

    Neither team found its offensive rhythm in the first half.

    The Blue Devils regrouped at halftime and their defensive effort helped them to settle into their offense.

    “In the first half, we struggled a bit,” McMahon said. “We were tentative on both sides of the ball and then in the second half, we were patient, took care of the ball, and we attacked when it was smart. It’s the first time all year that we got into a flow where we could just feel when our teammates were open and we attacked that, so that was nice to see. They shared the ball extremely well because the girls were open, and we could get it to them.”

    Emily Gibbons scored seven of her 11 in the third quarter to fuel Independence’s second-half run.

    Makenna Rini added four of her six in the third, and Casey Adams matched Gibbons with a game-high 11 points.

    Lucy Spencer contributed to the win with seven points and Macey McGhee and Emily Richards both scored two.

    Injuries forced Adams and Gibbons to take over at point guard.

    “Casey did a really good job at point guard, as did Emily Gibbons,” McMahon said. “They really improved on that, which gives us a chance.”

    Fairview’s Gabby Davenport scored seven of her 11 in the first half and Alexa Manos finished the game with four points. Rebecca Carey pitched in with three, Ava Budzar, Emily Larkin, and Olivia Budzar each scored two points, and Bella Pachio-Schuerger finished with one point for the Warriors.

    Independence’s defense was just as impressive as its second-half offense.

    “We really stepped it up, especially on our on-ball pressure and we defended the full court,” McMahon said. “It’s the first time we’ve had a chance to really work on that and to get enough reps in practice. They were a little slow with it in the first half, but they came out playing with passion in the second half.”

    Independence (1-4) hosts Beachwood on Friday while Fairview (3-2) looks to rebound against Cuyahoga Heights.

     

    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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