Wednesday, April 24

    Kirtland controls the boards in win at Berkshire

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    Jack Green and Gino Blasini controlled the boards in leading Kirtland to a 45-39 win at Berkshire in a Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division showdown on Tuesday.

    Berkshire led early but the Hornets found their way in the second quarter and never looked back.

    “Anytime you can go on the road in the CVC and get a ‘W’, you’ve got to be happy with the results, but you know we came out a little flat, and to their credit, they did a good job of controlling the pace of the game,” said Kirtland coach Shawn McGregor. “We didn’t shoot it well early and they made it difficult for us to get some open easy looks. As the game went along, I think Gino and Jack did a good job of making plays and getting on the glass and getting some easy looks. I think they really helped us in the second half to control the game.”

    Berkshire’s Joey Czekaj scored four of his team-high 10 points in the first quarter as the Badgers held an early 7-4 lead.

    The Hornets used a team approach in the second quarter to pull ahead at the break, 16-15.

    Nick Barisic and Danny Alfieri both hit 3-pointers in the second quarter while Green scored three points, Will Sayle added two, and Blasini scored one point in the frame.

    Kirtland outscored Berkshire in the second half, 29-24.

    Green scored 12 of his game-high 15 in the final 16 minutes. Blasini added six points during that stretch and Nick Barisic and Vince Carriero hit key 3-pointers.

    It was the work on the boards that helped Green and Blasini to alter the outcome of the game.

    “I know getting rebounds is critical to help my team win, and I try my best to read the ball coming off of the rim and backboard,” Green said. “Most of my points came from inside passes from Gino and my other teammates.”

    Barisic contributed to the win with eight points, Blasini finished with seven, Carriero added five, Noah Nead and Alfieri both finished with three, and Bobby Whittaker and Sayle closed out the game with two.

    “Jack and Gino are the keys,” McGregor said. “Both of them had five assists on the game and a bunch of rebounds, and they did a real nice job of seeing the floor and getting Jack some easy looks in the high-low. Berkshire sat in their zone and Gino got aggressive in the second half and helped Jack come through with the scoring.”

    With the win, the Hornets improved to 8-5 overall and held on to first place in the Valley Division with a 5-0 mark.

    The Hornets host Independence on Friday.


    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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