BURTON–Berkshire pulled away late to earn a 36-31 non-conference upset win over visiting Chagrin Falls on Tuesday, 36-31.
The Badgers trailed frequently during the course of the game, but weathered the storm and played strong defense, and forced several key turnovers down the stretch.
“We focused on just defense a lot in the last week,” said Berkshire coach James Bosley. “We have had a tough schedule and it’s easy to get tired during games. We also focused on rebounding, which was huge down the stretch.”
The Tigers held a one-point advantage after a physical and scrappy first quarter and Jenna Santamaria drained a pair of 3-pointers in the second to help the Tigers push their lead to 19-16 at the break.
Both teams came out in the third quarter shooting aggressively from behind the arc. The Tigers held on to a 27-25 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Berkshire ramped up its effort on defense in the fourth quarter and it paid off with several turnovers and limited shot opportunities for the Tigers.
Berkshire took a 32-31 lead with 2:43 left in the game.
“Honestly, that fourth quarter is how we play defense all the time,” Bosley said. “They were good at handling the pressure, but the more we talk, the harder it is for anything to happen.”
Lydia Kastor scored a game-high 18 points and hit on four straight free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Kylie Neumore contributed with 10 points.
Hayley Stoddard posted a team-high seven rebounds and Caroline Kuchling led the Badgers with three assists. Kastor finished with four steals.
“I just think we did a really good job of not getting panicked by them,” Kastor said. “We did a really good job passing the ball and then the defense just created opportunities for us.”
Lilly Wolf led the Tigers with 11 points while Lilly Stukus added nine. Santamaria and Peyton Gellin finished with six and five points, respectively.
“We really need to figure out how to pull out games like this,” Wolf said.
Berkshire will play Mansfield Senior High on Thursday, while Chagrin Falls will travel to Chardon.