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    Mayfield overcomes slow start in win at Chardon

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    Mayfield overcame a slow start in a big way in its 71-64 Western Reserve Conference victory at Mayfield on Saturday.

    The Wildcats turned to their most experienced players to lead the comeback and Olivia Williams, Nav Buttar, and Gabby Moore delivered with a combined 53 points.

    “That’s huge when you get your kids who have experience stepping up,” said Mayfield coach Cullen Harris. “Gabby and Nav are three-year starter and Liv played a ton as a freshman and is now a second-year starter, so when they’re able to kind of take over a game and play within themselves, and play together, we can be really tough to defend. That’s what we always share with the girls, we are most effective when five kids are moving the ball and we’re all taking our turns and playing together.”

    Chardon came out shooting in the first quarter.

    The Hilltoppers drained four 3-pointers and had five different players score as they built an early 24-11 lead.

    Williams scored seven of her team-high 22 in the second quarter, Alexa Januszewski scored all six of her points in the frame, and Buttar drained a key 3-pointer to keep Mayfield within 44-27 at the break.

    “In pregame, we talked about their shooters,” Harris said of the Hilltoppers. “They’ll shoot from anywhere, so we had to get a hand up and contest, and it took us a quarter to realize that. They shot it really well and everything they put up seemed to go in.”

    At halftime, Harris adjusted his defense and applied more pressure to the Hilltoppers in the second half.

    With a much more aggressive defense in the second half, the Wildcats outscored the Hilltoppers, 44-22.

    “We turned up the pressure defensively and contested a lot more of their shots and made those jumpers a little tougher,” Harris said. “That created some offense for us too and Liv was big in the fourth quarter.”

    Williams scored 15 second-half points and was 10-for-10 from the line in the game and 5-for-5 in the fourth quarter.

    As a team, the Wildcats converted 16-of-21 free throw tries.

    “I feel like we put a lot of pressure on the other defense,” Harris said. “We get downhill, we drive the ball hard, but we’ve got to punish those teams (at the free throw line). We have to make free throws when we get those opportunities and Liv did that, especially in the fourth quarter that helped us ice the game.”

    Williams finished with 22 points, Buttar scored 17, and Moore finished with 14. Jenna D’Angelo contributed to the win with eight, Januszewski scored six, and Fatima Longo-Sardo scored four.

    Nicole Krakora led Chardon with 24 points, Cassidy Grau finished with 13, Selina Sparker added nine, Abigail Zeiger scored eight, and Cameron Gerlica pitched in with seven.

    With the win, Mayfield improved to 6-4 overall and 2-0 in the WRC. The Wildcats return to action on Sunday when they play Howland at the Berkshire Hoopfest at 3:30 p.m.

     

    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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