CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio -- Kenston had visiting Eastlake North right where it wanted during Wednesday night's nonleague girls basketball game.
The Bombers (10-5) were taller -- and consecutive 3-pointers, including a buzzer-beater by junior Grace Moran, gave them a 29-25 lead at intermission. Kenston, ranked No. 22 in The Plain Dealer, then scored the first five points of the second half, but none of that rattled the Rangers, who turned up the heat and clicked from the foul line for a 56-49 upset win.
"We didn't handle their pressure, they got a couple hands on the ball, got a couple shots and built up their confidence," Bombers coach Kevin Hinkle said. "It seemed like after they got a couple quick points, we kind of relaxed.
"We had the halftime lead but I don't know if we deserved it because we didn't execute our game plan. We wanted to pound the ball inside but instead, we settled for outside jumpers."
North was outrebounded, 26-18, but its quick and suffocating defense forced 23 Bombers turnovers, including eight in the third quarter.
The biggest thorn in Kenston's side stood just 5-6. Sophomore Lynsey Englebrecht was the main reason the Rangers held a 38-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Englebrecht, who scored a game-high 25 points, accounted for 11 of North's 13 third-quarter points. Senior Jocelyn Sefcik led the defense with eight steals, senior Wanda Snyder grabbed five rebounds and sophomore Steph Chlad dished four assists.
"Sometimes your shots fall, sometimes they don't, but you always have to be positive," Englebrecht said. "And it helps when you get good passes."
Englebrecht made six 3-pointers and also had three rebounds, two steals and two assists. Kenston's Moran made three 3-pointers en route to a team-high 23 points.
North (12-3) made 10-of-14 free throws, including an 8-of-12 effort in the second half.
"Our pressure and rotations forced them into some mistakes," Rangers coach Paul Force said. "We're smaller than most of the teams we play so we just try to crowd the paint and get a lot of bodies inside, and if a team wants to get into a 3-point shooting competition, we feel good about our chances."
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: email@example.com, 216-999-4665
On Twitter: @BobFortuna