Raiders defense propels them to big NE8 victory over Red Dragons

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Lamparty scores 15 in the Raiders win over the Red Dragons

CANFIELD, OHIO (WKBN) – The South Range Raiders utilized a suffocating defense to capture a big 54-28 NE8 league win over the Niles McKinley Red Dragons Thursday night.  Both teams entered the night with identical 3-1 records in the league, but the Raiders improve to 8-2 on the season, 4-1 in the league.  The Red Dragons drop to 3-5, 3-2 in the NE8.

The Raiders were led by Izzy Lamparty with 15 points and 8 rebounds while freshman Gabby Lamparty scored 12 and sophomore Lexi Giles tallied 10 with 5 rebounds.  Freshman Emma Cunnigham came off the bench to haul down 5 caroms.

“Me and Bree (Kohler) started as a freshman so I feel like even though it has only been three years, it feels like four for us,” Izzy Lamparty remarked about being a leader on a young Raiders team.  I feel like it is a pretty big win because this whole week we have been 3 and 0.  That will bring up our team (confidence) a lot for practice and next week’s games.”

“Obviously Izzy Lamparty is kind of our leader and most teams expect her to come in and be our leading scorer, but we can go to a number of girls on any given night to kind of help us on the offensive end,” Raiders head coach Jeff Fishel remarked about his team’s depth. “It’s a nice luxury to have as a coach.”

The Raiders forced the Red Dragons into 20 turnovers on the night, including several that helped the Raiders kickstart their offense.  The Raiders used that tactic to jump out to a 16-4 lead after the first quarter.

“We haven’t shot well all year, so we have had to rely on our defense,” Fishel explained.  “These girls accept that challenge and they are taking it personally that we have to win the game on the defensive side of the court.  And if we’re not shooting well, then that’s just how it’s going to have to be.”

They continued to pull away in the second quarter as they built a 22-6 lead with a little over five minutes to play in the half.  To the Red Dragons credit, they battled back as they would close the half with a 10-6 run to make the deficit just 12-points at the intermission at 28-16.

But the Raiders would seize the momentum from the start of the second half with an 8-2 run and a 36-18 lead.  They would go on to hold a 43-21 at the end of the third quarter.

“We really only have one point guard right now.  We are trying to get some other girls to handle the ball and that’s what we are working on,” Red Dragons coach Makayla Butler said about the numerous turnovers.  “Every practice we set aside twenty minutes just to do straight ball handling so we can get better with the ball.  Some games it shows that we are progressing, and then games like this we need to keep working harder.”

The Raiders would continue to pull away in the fourth period as they would outscore the Red Dragons 11-7 in the frame.  Much of the Raiders offense would come from their bench.

The loss overshadowed a tremendous performance by the Red Dragons senior point guard Aneziah Fryer.  She would score 22 of the Dragons 28 points on the night while also grabbing 10 rebounds.  Arissa Johnson would also haul down 7 rebounds.

“We scored fifty the other day and she had twenty-two.  She is amazing, she is doing what she has to do for us.  She doesn’t leave the court as she plays all four quarters, the whole eight minutes,” Butler praised her senior point guard.  “She wants to score her one thousand points and she is getting close as she keeps pushing through.”

The Raiders will look to keep their momentum going as they travel to Canfield on Monday night.  The Red Dragons will look to bounce back when they travel to Champion on Saturday afternoon.

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