Sunday, December 3

    Independence shows progress in loss to Cardinal

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    Independence came up short in a 53-51 nonconference loss to visiting Cardinal on Tuesday, but the Blue Devils continued to show progress from the start of the season.

    The Huskies rallied back from a 16-10 first-quarter deficit in improving to 13-8 on the year while the Blue Devils closed out the regular season 4-18.

    “We ran into a very tough and physical, senior-laden team,” said Independence coach Marc Holliday. “My guys competed like they always do, but we just couldn’t make a shot when we needed to.”

    Independence’s young team opened the season with eight straight losses but became more and more competitive as the season progressed.

    Playing the Huskies—one of the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division’s top two teams—toe-to-toe was another step in the right direction.

    “The bottom line is our kids really paid attention to the game plan,” Holliday said. “At times, we were outstanding. We just couldn’t make an open shot and at some point, you have to be able to hit open shots.”

    Landon Jatsek led the Blue Devils with a game-high 22 points and Sam Crooks finished with 15. Freshman Matty Jirmasek also scored in double figures with 12 and Wyatt Snyder added two points for the Blue Devils.

    Troy Domen led Cardinal with 13 points and Ethan Detweiler pitched in with 12.

    Holliday has seen the growth out of his young team and he’s excited about what the future holds for his squad as the Blue Devils will return their entire roster next season.

    Still, he can’t help but be pleased when opposing fans comment to him about his team’s focus and effort.

    “My kids battled again today and I always like it when people from the visiting crowd are coming over to tell me how hard my kids play,” he said. “That doesn’t happen with every coach. I’ve been a coach for a long time and that just doesn’t happen. There’s a lot to build on and we’re going to continue to work hard to turn the page and get ready for Waynedale.”

    Independence opens the postseason at Applecreek Waynedale on Tuesday. Cardinal closes out the regular season on Friday against rival Berkshire.


    Steve Hare
    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, 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, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the 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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