Girls Varsity Basketball · Rangers pound Shaker Heights

Taylor Valaitis

North’s Destiny Leo, Abby Carter and Taylor Valaitis combined for 61 points to lead the Rangers to a 76-46 win at Shaker Heights on Saturday.

With the win, the Rangers improved to 10-0 overall and avenged last season’s loss to the Red Raiders.

“Solid team win today over a team that knocked us off last year in our own gym,” North coach Paul Force said. “It feels good to come back here and be able to get a win on their court.”

North led just19-15 after the first quarter.

“I felt like our defensive energy was not as high as it needed to be early on and a couple shots didn’t go down, but late in the quarter and into the second it seemed like momentum kind of swing our way and we opened up the game a bit,” Force said.

He understated what happened in the second quarter.

The Rangers outscored the Raiders, 26-10.

Leo, who finished with a game-high 32 points, got hot in the second and Valaitis, Avril Drew and Olivia Oostdyk also contributed to the run.

“Destiny got rolling in that second quarter and the girls did a nice job of finding her when she had the hot hand,” Force said. “It seemed like her little spurt in the second quarter loosened everyone up, then Taylor knocked down a few shots and we got some buckets from Avril and Olivia in the post.”

Valaitis finished with 16 points, Carter added 13, Drew pitched in with seven and Oostdyk added four. Carli Wilson scored two points in the win.

Leo led North with nine rebounds while Carter finished with six and also posted team highs in assists (7) and steals (6).

“Another solid all-around game from Abby, but we need her to maintain a high focus and energy level for us,” Force said. “She seems to set the defensive tone and when she’s locked in, I think that raises the intensity level of the rest of our team.”

North returns to action on Jan. 2 when the Rangers travel to Kenston in a rematch of the Perry District championship game.

North 76, Shaker Heights 46

North 19 26 18 13 – 76
Shaker Heights 15 10 12 9 – 46

Shaker Heights (0-10); Jackson 14, Nagasky 1, Smith 4, Manning 10, Donegan 1, Patey 0, Zagara 3, Shackelton 8, Mahoney 2, Pernin 3, Dongon 0

North (10-0) – C Hamilton 0, Carter 13, Hammond 0, M Hamilton 3, Leo 32, Vajusi 0, Drew 7, Valaitis 16, C Wilson 2, Oostdyk 4, H Wilson 0, Vitello 0

FG; Shaker Hts 18/57 (31%), North 31/70 (44%). FT; Shaker Hts 5/8 (62%) , North 7/12 (58%). Three pointers; Shaker Hts 5 (Manning 2, Zagara 1, Shackelton 1, Pernin 1), North 7 (Leo 5, Valaitis 2). Rebounds; Shaker Hts 35, North 35 (Leo 9). Assists; Shaker Hts 9, North 19 (Carter 7)