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The win was three years in the making and for Vandegrift senior Madison Byrne.
It marked the arrival for her and several of her varsity teammates as Vandegrift beat Vista Ridge 81-77 for the first varsity win over the Rangers in their careers.
“We have been together for the past couple of years on varsity and this was a wonderful win,” Byrne said.
Byrne and the Lady Vipers have been a case study in steady improvement after starting the season with just five wins in their first 14 games.
“(Vandegrift head coach Jonathon Jones) is really organized and it is all a process," Byrne said. "We weren’t winning early but we were getting better and it has really started to pay off.”
After starting 5-9, the Vipers have won 12 of 13 and sit atop District 25-6A with a 6-0 record capping the first round of district play with the high-scoring win over Vista Ridge.
Byrne, who is averaging nearly 20 points per game, is planning on calling it a career after high school and pursuing a business degree at Texas A&M University.
“I love basketball but am really more interested in my degree after high school,” she said.
The oldest of three sisters, junior Taylor and freshman Kennedy, Madison stays busy as both the oldest sister and role model.
“It is great being the oldest, at least most of the time,” she said.
Byrne leads a Vandegrift team that has toiled in the shadows of Vista Ridge and Georgetown the past two season in 5A, but has moved up to show great maturity and teamwork at the 6A level.
“We work on getting better every day and Madison has really been a great leader,” Jones said. "She rarely gets the credit she deserves.”