Rangers bounce back with win over Maple Heights

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Allie Chlad

North’s girls’ basketball team couldn’t get back on the floor soon enough after Monday’s season-opening overtime loss to Shaker Heights.

The Rangers responded to that setback with a 68-39 win at Maple Heights on Wednesday.

“It was good to get that first ‘W,’” said North coach Paul Force. “The girls were hungry to get back on the floor after Mondays’ game. We took a step in the right direction tonight, but we know we have a long way to go. There is room for improvement on both ends of the floor and we are going to get back to work tomorrow.”

North led 10-7 after the first quarter then dominated the Mustangs in the second to take a 36-15 lead into halftime.

Samantha Pirosko scored 20 of her game-high 33 points in the quarter.

“The loss on Monday was upsetting and we used it to fuel us to work harder and the outcome shows that,” Pirosko said. “The defense was putting a lot of pressure up on our guards and pretty much left me wide open in the paint. Rim-running was also a big factor. My teammates were making great looks and hitting me with a nice pass up the floor.”

The Rangers outscored the Mustangs 26-8 in the second quarter and 26-13 in the third.

Pirosko also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and had the team’s only blocked shot.

Destiny Leo contributed with 20 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Anaunda Lyons recorded five points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals and Taylor Valaitis pitched in with five points, five assists and four steals.

North shot 56-percent from the floor.

“This gives us some momentum going into our next game against John Hay,” Pirosko said.

The Rangers, who improved to 1-1, host the Hornets on Saturday.

“John Hay coming to town Saturday will be a huge challenge for us as they come in with a ton of talent,” Force said. “Good team win for us tonight, now we have to move on and keep working, stay humble and hungry.”

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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.