Rangers sneak past Madison

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Destiny Leo

North’s Destiny Leo and Samantha Pirosko combined to score all 17 of the Rangers’ points in the third quarter of a 46-36 Western Reserve Conference win at Madison on Wednesday.

The Rangers shook off a slow start in improving to 4-2 overall and 3-0 in league play.

“I told the girls they don’t give style points, we will take the win,” said North coach Paul Force. “Did we execute as well as we would’ve liked to on the offensive end? No, but some girls were asked to do some things tonight that they’re not used to doing and I’m proud of the effort and willingness to do what is needed in the best interest of the team.”

Val Arnold, who scored seven points, helped the Rangers keep pace in the first quarter, despite trailing the Blue Streaks, 11-9.

Anaunda Lyons scored all nine of her points in the fourth quarter and also pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.

“Huge start by Val for us and a big finish by Anaunda,” Force said. “When those guys get it going and teams can’t just lock in on one or two players, it makes us so much more dangerous.”

Leo tied Pirosko with 13 points and she also added six steals, five assists and a whopping five blocked shots in the game.

“It’s a big part of the game to me,” Leo said of her defensive effort. “Getting a few blocks really gets us up and excited and defense turns into offense so that’s what I hang my hat on.”

Maddy Hamilton scored three points for the Rangers while Taylor Valaitis scored one and also had two assists and a steal. Pirosko pulled down 11 rebounds in the win.

“Nice team win tonight over a well-coached Madison team who you know is always going to show up and play hard,” Force said. “It seems like no one ever blows Madison out, especially in their gym, and that is a credit to Mike (Smith), his staff and the kind of kids they have out there. They will get some people this year, I have no doubt.”

Sydney Guyer led Madison with 13 points and Aly Berry added 11 for the Blue Streaks.

North 46, Madison 36

North (4-2, 3-0): T Valaitis 1, S Valaitis 0, Arnold 7, Morgan 0, Stuart 0, Lyons 9, Hamilton 3, Leo 13, Pirosko 13

Madison (0-6, 0-3): Wakim 1, Askew 5, Ledford 6, Guyer 13, Cramb 0, Berry 11

North 9 9 17 11 — 46
Madison 11 5 10 10 — 36

Free throws: North 7 of 10, Madison 9 of 14; 3-pointers: North 5 (Leo 2, Hamilton, Lyons, Arnold), Madison 5 (Berry 1, Guyer 4); Rebounds: North 38 (Lyons 14), Madison 24; Assists: North 13 (Leo 5), Madison 8

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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.