Rangers fall to Chardon

Brandon Barron

Brandon Barron high eight 3-pointers and scored a game-high 31 points but it wasn’t enough for North as the Rangers fell to visiting Chardon on Friday, 83-79.

The Rangers led 41-38 at halftime but allowed Chardon to go on a 21-11 run in the third quarter and never recovered.

“It was a conference game; you’ve got to up your game,” said North coach Rob Koelling. “You have to be willing to do something extra down in the last 15 minutes to help your team out. Whether that’s playing harder defensively or attacking the rim more on the offensive end. The communication on defense just broke down at times in the half court and the press in the second half.”

Barron connected on six 3s in the first half and the Rangers drained nine 3s as a team in the first half to build the lead.

Not to be outdone, the Hilltoppers used the deep ball to climb back into the game and finished with 11 3-pointers in the game.

Nearly everything that worked for the Rangers in the first half—uses the transition game to create open shots and pulling down rebounds to create second chances—dried up in the second half as the Hilltoppers made their run.

“We were attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line at times in the second half, it was just a lack of execution on the offensive end,” Koelling said. “We weren’t giving ourselves enough second chances to score. We’ve got to eliminate our defensive lapses and eliminate those second-chance points to give ourselves a better opportunity to come out on top.”

Jimmy Arnold added 17 points and hit three 3-pointers for the Rangers.

Alex Sulka and Michael Laudato both scored 27 for the Hilltoppers.

Chardon improved to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the Western Reserve Conference while the Rangers dropped to 2-5, 1-3.

The Rangers have lost two straight and five of their last six.

“The film doesn’t lie; the game experience doesn’t lie,” Koelling said. “You’ve got to realize it’s going to take the little things (to turn this around). It’s going to take the communication on defense; it’s going to take the physicality of boxing out and the technique of boxing out and using our transition game to our advantage and getting up the floor. That’s kind of what we got away from early in the game.”

North hosts University School on Friday.

Chardon 83, North 79

Chardon- Laudato 27, Sulka 27, Scerbo 13, Niehus 6, Kobz 3, Skilton 5, Hougan 2; North – Barron 31, Arnold 17, Duleba Broja 5, Cunningham 5, Skolny 3, Tanski 3, Scott 2, Cantrell 1.

Chardon 26 12 21 28 — 83
North 18 23 11 27 — 79

Free Throws: Chardon 18-33, North 17-27

3- Point: Chardon 11 ( Laudato 9, Sulka, Skilton) North: 14 (Barron 8, Arnold 3, Cunningham, Tanski, Skolny)

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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.