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    HomeWestern Reserve ConferenceChardonBalanced Toppers down Madison

    Balanced Toppers down Madison


    Four Chardon players scored in double figures as the Hilltoppers closed out a brutal week with a 69-50 win over visiting Madison on Saturday.

    The Hilltoppers played their fifth game in eight days to improve to 13-7 overall and 8-5 in the Western Reserve Conference.

    “Five games in eight days is tough,” Chardon coach Cullen Harris said. “We’ve done a good job getting kids in and out trying to conserve legs a little bit, but the mental grind is just as important as the physical part. We had some flat moments but were able to come away with a win. When you’re in that stretch you’ll take it however it comes.”

    Madison hung with the Hilltoppers through three quarters but Chardon finished off the game with a 26-12 run to pull away from the Blue Streaks.

    “The difference in the game today was the fourth quarter,” Harris said. “It was a five-point game at the end of three. In the fourth quarter, we were able to turn it up a bit and take advantage of some of their mistakes. They’re young and inexperienced and they couldn’t hold on for four quarters but coach (Mike) Smith has them playing well. They’re peaking at the right time. We just got fortunate to be able to create a few turnovers in the fourth we were able to capitalize on.”

    Lindsey Nichols led the Hilltoppers with 14 points, Sam Liechty added 12 and Kayla Noerr and Sydney Feller both contributed with 10. Danni McCartney just missed double-digit scoring as she finished with nine points.

    “It’s very important for us to get balanced scoring because that’s how we play basketball,” Harris said. “We don’t run sets or plays for individual kids; everything we do is based on where we feel we have an advantage. They tried to take away (Feller) and the others scored to make them pay for not providing help. Then they provided a little more help and Syd made some shots and drove to get to the free throw line.”

    Chardon won four of the five games it played this week.

    “It’s been a busy week with all our games and barely a break, but we keep working hard,” Liechty said. “It feels really good to be winning and pushing through the past eight days. With the end of the season coming up, we want to give our seniors our best.”

    Marisa Organiscak added five points for Chardon while Grace Koppelman and Anna Thompson each scored four. Caitlyn Goodrich scored one point.

    “It’s always good when you get nine-plus from five kids and five, four and four,” Harris said. “That’s a mark of our program and the work we do on a daily basis to continue to develop skill and challenge kids to keep working for an expanded role.”

    Riley Montagner led Madison with a game-high 16 points and Chloe Bancroft finished with 14.

    Chardon 69, Madison 50

    Madison (8-12, 3-10 WRC): Montagner 16, Bancroft 14, Cramb 6, Bottar 5, Shafer 4, Wakim 2, Fedele 2, P. Lewanski 1

    Chardon (13-7, 8-5 WRC): Nichols 14, Liechty 12, Noerr 10, Feller 10, McCartney 9, Organiscak 5, Koppelman 4, Thompson 4, Goodrich 1

    Madison 12 11 15 12 – 50
    Chardon 18 11 14 26 – 69

    Field goals: Madison 19/46, Chardon 25/59; Free throws: Madison 7/10, Chardon 17/27; 3-pointers: Madison 5 (Banecroft 2, Montagner 2, Bottar), Chardon 6 (Feller 2, Nichols 2, Thompson, Organsicak)

    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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