By ANGELO VELOTTA
For the Star Beacon
The North Rangers came into Geneva Friday night and sped away to a 71-49 Premier Athletic Conference victory over the Eagles.
Geneva (0-14, 0-9) looked to keep things close in the early goings, keeping the Rangers off balance with defense pressure, leaving the Eagles trailing just 11-5 after the opening eight minutes.
“I told ‘em before the game, keep it close in the first quarter, and we have a chance,” Geneva coach Scott Torok said.
“We were off for a while,” North (9-5) coach Joe Montanaro said.
The second quarter saw a big turnaround for the Rangers as they picked up their speed on both ends of the floor.
“We like to play up tempo,” Montanaro said of their faster style.
This helped the Rangers dominate the second quarter to take a 39-15 lead at the half.
North really found their rhythm in the third quarter with Paul Lang connecting on four 3-pointers
North took the quarter 18-8, and saw its lead expand to 57-23.
The Eagles didn’t show any quit, as they took the fourth period and cut into the North lead over the final eight minutes to make the final score 71-49.
“In the second half we forgot our big thing is we gotta defend,” Torok said. “We’re not gonna score in the 70’s, we stay in the 50’s.
“It’s about us (though), we gotta play 32 minutes. We gotta play with pride for the entire game.”
For Geneva, Vern Thompson led the way with 14 points while Eric Juncker had 11 points and Dan Camplese added in 10.
North was led by Paul Lang’s game-high 35 points. Lang got hot from the outside throughout the game, knocking down 8 of 16 3-pointers.
“They’re always looking for me,” Lang said. “I my find rhythm on the fast break, coach has confidence in me to keep shooting, so do these guys.”
North’s Anton Vrebac also added 10 points and 4 rebounds, and Brian Keller scored 7 and had 4 rebounds too for North.
Velotta is a freelance writer from Concord Township.