Wednesday, May 18

    North rides defense to ninth straight win

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    North avoided a letdown game following Wednesday’s rivalry win over South.

    The Rangers rode their defense to a 54-34 win at Aurora on Saturday and extended their winning streak to nine straight games.

    “We talked a little bit beforehand about the fact that we had just played a conference rivalry game and we have three conference games coming up this week,” said North coach Paul Force. “We talked with the girls about making sure we are in the moment and make sure we’re focused on one day and one game at a time.”

    North used a 38-6 run from the middle of the first quarter through the third to pull away from the Greenmen.

    “Credit to Aurora,” Force said. “They were without one of their top scorers but they came out and jumped on us. In both films I watched I saw them do the same thing. They came out and got early leads but I thought we did a good job of settling in once two or three shots went down. Late in the first quarter, we were able to take the lead and then we shot the ball pretty well all night, which helps in basketball.”

    Aurora’s Ava Ryncarz led the Greenmen with 17 points. She found early success before the Rangers intensified their defensive efforts and slowed her down the rest of the game.

    North also out-rebounded Aurora, 38-35.

    “She was averaging about 20 points a game but after the first couple of possessions we were able to find her a little bit better,” Force said. “We also were able to rebound the ball with them. They’re a lot bigger than us and a very physical team so it was a challenge on the boards.”

    Dori Siekaniec scored just two points for the Rangers but she was tasked with slowing down Aurora’s top scorer and she was effective throughout the game.

    “I knew my team had my back and created layers for when she was to drive, so I had the confidence to get up and make it tough for her to do what she wanted to do with the ball,” Siekaniec said. “We knew that she had the ability to shoot and attack, so I focused on being up on her and making it difficult for her to get a shot off. If I got beat off the dribble, I knew my team was going to be there to help on her.”

    Kailey Minch scored a game-high 20 points for the Rangers and Cece Hamilton also scored in double figures with 11. Mya Latham and Sydney Helm both scored six points and Alyssa McPeek added five for North.

    “Everybody contributed and shot it well,” Force said. “Kailey made a bunch of shots and Cece shot it well and had a good floor game.”

    With the win, North improved to 10-1 overall. The Rangers travel to Chardon on Tuesday.

    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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