It's back to basics for the Nordonia High School boys basketball team.
The Knights, under first-year head coach Mike Griffen, clashed with Suburban League National Division foe Wadsworth this past week. Nordonia traveled to Wadsworth on Wednesday, Jan. 18, falling to the Grizzlies by the score of 72-36.
According to Griffen, the Wadsworth sharpshooters got hot and the Knights weren't able to do much to stop them.
"Their shooters got going, and we struggled to rotate and close out on defense, which gave them some open looks," said Griffen. "They knocked most of those shots down."
On defense, Nordonia struggled to stop Wadsworth's outside shooters. On offense, the Knights had difficulty creating shots of their own, leading to a low point output.
Only one player reached double digits in scoring for Nordonia. That was sophomore guard Evan Wiehe with 10 points. Not part of the starting lineup, Wiehe made the most of his playing time from a production standpoint.
"I was very proud of his ability to come off the bench and make some shots," said Griffen of Wiehe.
With the loss, Nordonia's overall record slid to 1-12. The Knights are also winless in the National Division at 0-6.
Griffen, who was head coach of the Nordonia girls basketball program prior to this season, is hoping to infuse the same type of winning mentality with the Knights that he did with the Lady Knights. He indicated that there is much work to be done.
"Our mental toughness, physicality, and effort is not where it needs to be to win in a tough Suburban League," said Griffen. "We're finding that out the hard way right now."
Nordonia is currently last in the eight-team National Division. Stow-Munroe Falls is first in the current standings with an undefeated division record of 7-0.
According to Griffen, the Knights need to focus on maximizing their practice time for the purpose of improving their game time performance.
"Moving forward, we need to get back to developing sound fundamentals in practice," he said, "so we can execute on both ends when it comes time to play."
On Jan. 27, Nordonia will travel to division nemesis Hudson. The Explorers are currently seventh in the National Division with a ledger of 1-5.