MACEDONIA -- There are times when her young team is dazzling.

And then there are other times when first-year head Nordonia girls basketball coach Julie Buckler is completely perplexed by her team's play.

Let's just say she was rather pleased with the Lady Knights' performance Jan. 14.

Host Nordonia improved to 7-7 overall and 5-3 in the Suburban League National Conference after posting a commanding 74-47 victory over Hudson Jan. 14 at Hugh Griffith Memorial Gymnasium.

The Lady Knights scored 24 points in the opening quarter and took complete command with a 15-0 run that started late in the first half and ended early in the third quarter.

Nordonia also dominated the glass (39-22) and turned just about every possession into a track meet.

While the Lady Knights have shown flashes of brilliance throughout the season, they've been inconsistent. Their performance against the Lady Explorers is what Buckler hopes to see every time her players step on the floor.

"We have our highs and lows," she said. "We had a rough stretch of the season during the holiday break. We played such strong teams. I thought this was our best game of the season."

After its 15-0 run, Nordonia, which scored a number of points in transition, led 46-20.

The Lady Knights were able to get open shots throughout the afternoon, thanks to good ball movement.

As a result of its sharing, Nordonia had four players reach double digits in scoring.

"We moved the ball as a unit," Buckler said. "They were willing to make that extra pass. The more hands we have touching the ball, the better looks we have."

Freshman forward Lizzie Imrie led the Lady Knights with a game-high 22 points and senior guard Sarah Turley added 18 points. Turley made three of Nordonia's five 3-pointers.

Sophomore guard Soleil Barnes finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 3 steals. Barnes also dished out several assists off the dribble to wide-open teammates.

"Soleil had to be more of a general on the floor," Buckler said. "She has taken on that role and has gotten better and better. Her sharing the ball came in the flow of what we did. I know she's money every time."

Freshman guard Dominique Evans was a force as a playmaker, too. She found open teammates behind the 3-point line and had a strong all-around game with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

Freshman guard Sarah Hinkle led the Lady Explorers (3-11, 2-6) with 10 points and senior guard Ava Cristofoli and sophomore guard Emma Messina finished with 9 and 8 points, respectively, for Hudson, which earned a 29-25 win in the junior varsity contest.

Nordonia wasn't nearly as efficient in its previous outing Jan. 11. The Lady Knights dropped a 49-44 setback to Bedford at home.

"It was good to bounce back," Buckler said.

Barnes led Nordonia with 12 points and Imrie added 10 points.

The Lady Knights are scheduled to visit National Conference foe Stow-Munroe Falls Jan. 21 at 2:30 p.m.

They are set to entertain Brecksville-Broadview Heights Jan. 25 at 8 p.m.


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