Destiny Leo scored a career-high 37 points and Abby Carter added 15 for Eastlake North in an 80-75 win over Beaumont in the first round of the Melanie Williams Memorial Tournament at Andrews-Osborne Academy on Thursday.
The Rangers led by as many as 23 points in the second half before Beaumont rallied to pull to within striking distance late in the game.
“Right out the half they started to connect on 3-pointers,” Leo said. “The attitude was to keep calm and keep the pace of the game slow; don’t let them speed us up.”
With Leo banging in shots from the outside, the Rangers built a 26-14 first quarter lead and led 45-32 at halftime. They extended that lead to 67-48 after three quarters but the Blue Streaks outscored North in the fourth quarter, 28-13, to make it interesting down the stretch.
As Beaumont worked to defend against Leo on the outside, she drove to the basket for easy layups or free throw attempts.
“I had my outside shot going early and then that opened up the drive and my inside game,” Leo said.
Leo finished with six 3-pointers and nine free throws.
Carter also had a big night in her Ranger debut.
She finished the night with 15 points on five field goals and a free throws, she pulled down four rebounds and also led the team with three blocks.
Taylor Valaitis and Maddy Hamilton also scored in double figures for the Rangers with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Valaitis led the Rangers with seven rebounds and eight assists.
North advanced to Saturday’s semifinal round against Independence, a 62-49 winner over Orange. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
North 80 (1-0)
Abby Carter 15, Kenzie Hammond 0, Maddy Hamilton 10, Destiny Leo 37, Avril Drew 2, Taylor Valaitis 13, Carli Wilson 1, Olivia Oostdyk 2
Papas 0, Cravajal 15, Letterio 9, Gattozzi 20, Mlynek 5, Perusek 20, Edwards 6, Erjavec 0
FG; North 26/60 (43%), Beaumont 28/72 (38%); Free throws; North 17/20 (85%), Beaumont 5/13 (38%); 3-pointers; North 11 (Leo 6, Valaitis 2, Hamilton 2, Carter 1), Beaumont 14; Rebounds; North 34 (Leo 9), Beaumont 30; Assists; North 15 (Valaitis 8), Beaumont 18; Steals; North 9 (Leo 4), Beaumont 10