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    Mayfield rides third-quarter run to win over Kirtland

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    KIRTLAND—Mayfield used a 14-0 third-quarter run to pull away from host Kirtland in a 50-40 non-conference win over Thursday.

    The Wildcats trailed 26-21 before Nav Buttar hit a pair of 3-pointers to spark the Wildcats in that third-quarter scoring spree.

    “I thought we came out and played with really good energy,” said Mayfield coach Cullen Harris. “I think our kids thought, ‘Oh, we’re going to run away with this,’ because it was like 12-3 at one point. I know and coach (Steve) Thompson knows these kids aren’t going to go away and they kept chipping away.”

    Mayfield opened the game on a 12-3 run but Kirtland pulled to within 12-9 at the end of the first quarter.

    Alex Rosson drained a 3-pointer just inside the halftime buzzer to give Kirtland a 24-21 advantage heading into the locker room.

    Reilly Greenlee scored the first basket of the third quarter to push Kirtland’s lead to 26-21 but the Wildcats responded with a dominant stretch of play for most of the quarter.

    “We challenged them at halftime,” Harris said. “It was going to start on the defensive end and that’s how we’re going to be able to turn things around because you can control your energy and effort on defense. On offense, sometimes energy and effort is counterproductive. You’re going too fast, you’re dribbling too fast, you’re forcing things or rushing things. On defense, controlling your energy and effort is huge and that’s where I think we did well in the third quarter. We got some run-outs and some opportunities and we got some stops. I was pleased with the effort.”

    Kirtland freshman Emily Ridgeway provided the Hornets with a spark in the fourth quarter when she hit back-to-back baskets on the way to finishing with a career-high 12 points.

    The Hornets pulled to within four points of the Wildcats but that’s as close as they’d get.

    “We never quit and that’s I think what stands out about this group and another reason why I think they’re really special,” said Kirtland coach Brittany Zele. “I thought our second quarter was probably our best, which is usually our worst. Today, it was the third quarter. We only scored four points and they adjusted well to what we were doing on defense, so we had to switch out and they got some easy threes.”

    Uriah Jennings continued her hot streak as she led the Wildcats with 18 points. She had back-to-back 22-point games in leading Mayfield on a three-game winning streak.

    “She’s kind of the poster child for what I’m talking about understanding what’s expected and where the team is going to be and what we want to look for offensively,” Harris said of Jennings. “She’s got all the talent in the world and can be a really great player and she shows flashes of it, but the more she starts to understand playing under control, playing within herself, and playing on balance is where she really is starting to thrive and take advantage of some of these opportunities.”

    Hannah Peterson also scored in double figures for Mayfield with 14 points. Buttar finished with six, Cori Marsalis added four, and Alex Duncan and Grace Moran both pitched in with three points. Gabby Moore finished with two.

    Kirtland played without Marissa Carmosino, one of the team’s tallest players. That lack of size hurt the Hornets in the paint but Ridgeway stepped up to the challenge and battled for rebounds and put-backs.

    “Emily being a freshman and being able to do what she did tonight, that’s asking a lot of her,” Zele said. “I think she stepped up and we had already talked about how to defend in the post today, but she took instruction pretty well.”

    Reilly Greenlee added 11 points for Kirtland and Alex Rosson finished with six. Macy McIntosh and Corinne Greenlee scored six and two points, respectively.

    With the win, Mayfield improved to 8-6 overall while Kirtland dropped to 9-3.

    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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