Range not afraid of Heights
CUYAHOGA FALLS — South Range star Izzy Lamparty had an 18th birthday to remember as she put up 26 points and led the Raiders past a tough Warrensville Heights team 51-44 on Tuesday in a Div. III regional semifinal at Cuyahoga Falls High School.
The Raiders will either face Garrettsville Garfield or Applecreek Waynedale, who play today, in a regional final at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Cuyahoga Falls High School.
South Range moves to 23-4 and have won nine in a row. Warrensville heights finishes at 12-3.
“This is the most memorable birthday I think I have ever had,” Lamparty said.
“She wanted to have a good game on her birthday and earn us a trip back to the elite eight so Izzy played a heck of a game and put us on her back and led us,” South Range coach Jeff Fishel said.
The Raiders ran out to a 15-4 lead to start the game and went into the second quarter leading 19-9. Lamparty had 11 first quarter points.
“We took what they gave us,” Lamparty said. “We took open looks and tried not to force anything on offense. I think we also played some pretty lockdown defense.”
“I thought it was important to get out to a good start,” Fishel said. “They switched to zone which gave us some problems because we have been struggling against the zone a little bit lately.
“We played really hard,” Fishel added. “Warrensville Heights is as athletic a team that you will come across and our girls just played so hard. They are fun to watch and they play fun basketball. I am proud of how our girls met the challenge and executed down the stretch.”
The Tigers were able to answer the initial Raider punch and got the score to 26-25 South Range entering the half.
“We made adjustments,” Warrensville coach Ourtney Bryant said. “They came out and they are aggressive. If you come out in man to man, they will hit you with the backdoor. They run their stuff well and they are very smart players. They get after it.
“After I watched the Brookfield game, I decided to go 2-3 (zone) because they weren’t moving as well against the 2-3,” Bryant added. “That was the adjustment I made.”
“We made some adjustments at halftime,” Fishel said about the seven point second quarter. “We had to focus on getting back on defense if we weren’t in our press. In the second half, we did a better job stopping their transition and driving to the hoop. We were able to force them to take some shots that were a little off balance.”
Lexi Giles added14 points.
“That kid is special,” Bryant said about Lamparty. “Her athletic ability and her smarts. She doesn’t take shots she isn’t supposed to take. She is a star in her role. She doesn’t step outside of what she does great and that is why she is going to be successful. I would love to see her play at the next level.”
For Warrensville Heights, Jada Ward and Welline Tere each had 13 points. Jade Salters added 11 points. Salters came into the game averaging almost 23 points per game.
“We had Mallory Vidman on her all game and Mallory is our unsung hero because of what she brings to the table for us,” Fishel said about Salters. “It doesn’t show up in the stat book.”
The Tigers played with just seven active players throughout the tournament and season.
“It’s just mental,” Bryant said about the Tigers. “Being mentally tough and getting after it. That is what we do at practice. We don’t have anybody to practice against so they have to picture somebody to go against.
“It actually helps us,” Bryant added. “Those girls, nobody expected us to be here, not even me, I’ll be honest. But they really bought in. Hopefully, we can keep going and be back next year and give it a shot.”
For the Raiders, they are playing in a regional final for the second straight year.
“It feels great,” Lamparty said. “I knew we would get back and I am so proud of this team.”
• South Range was the No. 1 seed in its district while Warrensville was the No. 4 seed in its respective district.
Warrensville defeated Elyria Catholic in the district semifinal. Elyria Catholic defeated South Range in the regional final last season.
“I really have been focused on this game and playing one game at a time,” Lamparty said about the regional final. “I am pretty excited to see what this next team has to bring us.”
“Either one of those teams is going to present a tough match up for us and we are going to have to defensively and play as hard as we have ever played on Saturday if we want to make it down to Dayton (for the Final Four),” Fishel said about Saturday.
S. RANGE: 19-7-15-10–51
WARRENSVILLE SCORING: Jada Ward 5-2-13, Myah Goodman 2-0-6, Jade Salters 5-0-11, Tatum Johnson 0-0-0, Welline Tere 6-0-13, Aneesa Parker 0-1-1: TEAM TOTALS: 18, 3-11: 44.
S. RANGE SCORING: Izzy Lamparty 10-6-26, Bree Kohler 1-1-3, Hannah Crouse 0-0-0, Mallory Vidman 1-2-4, Emma Cunningham 2-0-4, Lexi Giles 4-4-14, Hannah Heikkinen 0-0-0, Taylor McClish 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 18, 13-21: 51.
Three-point goals: Warrensville 5 (Goodman 2, Salters, Tere, Ward), S. Range 2 (Giles 2).