With one game remaining in the regular season, the Nordonia High School girls basketball team has the chance to post a winning record before heading into the playoffs.
The Lady Knights split a pair of contests recently. As a result, their overall record stands at 11-10. In addition, their ledger within the National Division of the Suburban League is 7-6.
Nordonia's final regular-season game is against division rival Wadsworth on the road on Wednesday, Feb. 15. If the Lady Knights can beat the Lady Grizzlies, they'll finish with a winning record both overall and in the division.
Most recently, though, Nordonia battled division foe Twinsburg at home Feb. 8. It was Senior Night for the Lady Knights. Nordonia's senior class this year consists of guard Sarah Turley, forward Alex Boroski, and forward Jordan Zambach.
The Lady Tigers, who have lost only one game in the division, toppled the Lady Knights by the score of 68-34.
Nordonia only managed 18 points through the first three quarters before scoring 16 points during the final frame. Sophomore guard Soleil Barnes accounted for the majority of the Lady Knights' offensive production, pouring in 24 points.
"We weren't fully ready for that game," said Nordonia head coach Julie Buckler. "We had some opportunities, but we just couldn't finish them. That turned out to be a big difference in the end."
Turley produced four points, while three other Nordonia players added two points apiece. That trio consisted of freshman forward Lizzie Imrie, junior guard Lexi Maciejowski, and junior guard Sandra Spellman.
Nordonia bounced back from that loss to record a victory over non-league opponent Kenston on the road Feb. 11. The Lady Knights dropped the Lady Bombers by a 54-44 margin.
Nordonia enjoyed an explosive first quarter, scoring 25 points during the period. The Lady Knights led 38-22 at intermission and then held Kenston off in the second half to preserve their victory.
"The first half was probably one of our better halves of basketball that we've played this season," said Buckler. "We played hard across the board. We took some girls out of the lineup due to injury, and the rest of the girls stepped up. In the second half, we persevered and were able to work together to get the win."
Nordonia had a very balanced offensive performance, with three players reaching double digits in points scored. Those three were Barnes with 17 points, Spellman with 13 points, and Turley with 12 markers. In addition, Imrie tallied eight points and Maciejowski and Zambach both contributed two points.
The Division I Sectional/District Tournament Draw was held on Sunday, February 5, at Euclid High School. As a result of that draw, Nordonia received the seventh seed in the tournament.
Nordonia will open the playoffs at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, against Aurora at Aurora High School. The top four seeds in the tournament are Solon, Twinsburg, Maple Heights, and Shaker Heights.
Nordonia clashed with Aurora in the second game of the regular season. The Lady Knights won that contest by the score of 46-41.
"We weren't really in our element at that time," said Buckler. "We're anxious to see how prepared we are and what a difference that makes in the game."