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    Streaky Rangers top Madison

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    EASTLAKE—North used three different shooting streaks to topple visiting Madison in a Western Reserve Conference showdown on Wednesday, 47-39.

    The Rangers hit back-to-back 3-pointer on three separate occasions to pull away from the Blue Streaks.

    “Credit to them, they came out and got up on us a little bit but basketball is a game of runs,” said North coach Paul Force. “The teams in this conference know each other well so we know we’re going to have a lot of games in the high 30s and mid-40s, so we embrace that and we’ve been trying to hang our hat on the defensive end and to prepare for teams and make things difficult, and I think we did a nice job of that today.”

    Madison found its rhythm early as both Elizabeth Bottar and Riley Montagner scored four first-quarter points to give the Blue Streaks a 13-9 lead.

    Aside from a Bottar layup and a Payton Lewanski free throw, the Madison offense was quiet in the second as the Rangers outscored the Blue Streaks, 14-3.

    Dori Siekaniec and Cece Hamilton hit back-to-back 3s to spark that Ranger run.

    Sydney Helm and Mya Latham hit back-to-back 3s in the third and Helm and Kailey Minch did it in the fourth quarter.

    Both second-half 3-point streaks came in response to a Madison run.

    “North, they have an amazing ability, every time we’re sneaking in, someone made a 3,” said Madison coach Tedd Wagner. “For them, it’s always someone different. It’s not like it’s always their star player. They always found the girl and they made a 3. Every time we crept back in they would make a big 3. They made some very key shots on us.

    Madison played the Rangers nearly even in the second half but that second-quarter hole the Blue Streaks dug proved too much to overcome.

    “We had three shots to tie it in the fourth quarter and we just couldn’t get a bucket when we needed it,” Wagner said.

    Minch led the Rangers with a game-high 18 points and Hamilton finished with nine. Helm contributed with eight and Latham and Dori Siekaniec both finished with three. Alyssa McPeek, Robbie Sevegen, and Lily Namestnik all scored three points.

    Montagner led Madison with 11 points. Bottar added eight, Kearsten Woleben and Chloe Wakim both scored six, and Payton Lewanski finished with five. Chloe Bancroft scored three points.

    With the win, North improved to 11-1 overall and 5-0 in league play. With Mayfield’s win over Riverside, the Rangers now hold a two-game lead for first place.

    The Rangers extended their winning streak to 10 games and counting, but Force isn’t focused on what the Rangers have accomplished thus far.

    “Everything is so fleeting, so I never think too far ahead or think about records or anything like that,” Force said. “I’m always just locked in on that next team. There will be a time to reflect about the things that we’ve done as a team and a program, but we’ve got a game tomorrow, so I’m thinking about that.”

    Madison dropped to 7-6, 1-3, and is looking to find consistency in a season that has provided the Blue Streaks with more than their fair share of adversity.

    Between COVID shutdowns and bizarre game postponements—a water line break and a TikTok bomb threat—the Blue Streaks have struggled to settle in this season.

    “We’ve had four games canceled,” Wagner said. “COVID, snow days, a water main break, and a bomb threat, but I thought the girls really battled. I’m not happy that we lost, but it was a step in the right direction. North is the best team in the league right now and we were right there. Now, we’ve got to find a way to score more consistently.”

     

    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    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.

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