AURORA -- With 4:40 to go in the first-round Division I sectional game against Nordonia, things weren't looking too good for the Greenmen girls basketball team.
After a neck-and-neck first 3 1/2 quarters, the Knights opened an 8-point margin -- 42-34 -- but the Greenmen chewed away at the deficit and outscored the visitors 13-1 to claim a 47-43 victory.
It was one of the few tournament wins for the Suburban League American Conference co-champs since the school moved up to Division I a few years ago.
The win advanced sixth-seeded Aurora (17-6 overall) to play Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. at third-seeded Maple Heights. Top-seeded Solon will take on ninth-seeded Hudson in the other upper bracket second-rounder.
Up until Nordonia mounted that 8-point lead, neither team had managed to gain more than a 4-point advantage. Nordonia led by one after one quarter, the score was tied at 19 at halftime and the Knights were on top 36-34 after three quarters.
AHS coach Erika Greenberg said she was not that worried about the 8-point deficit. "Not with these girls," she said. "They have a never-give-up attitude and are mentally tough, so I knew they could rebound."
The Greenmen turned up the defensive pressure and outscored Nordonia 13-7 in the fourth period, overcoming the Knights' eight 3-point goals for the game.
"This is a dynamic team," said Greenberg. "It's a really fun team to coach, and everyone knows their rolls."
Aurora took advantage of Nordonia fouls in the fourth quarter, hitting 6 of 9 from the line, as the visitors committed 10-plus fouls in the second half. The Knights made only one of four free tosses in the quarter.
Senior Syarra Sellers led the Greenmen with 15 points, while her sister Shayla and senior Korie Hobbs each added 9, Haley Ross tossed in 8 and April Davis had 6 (two 3-pointers).
Soleil Barnes tossed in four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points for the Knights, while Lizzie Imrie added 11, but was in foul trouble with four by the end of the game.
Nordonia made only 31 percent of its field goal attempts (16 for 51), while Aurora made 41 percent (17 of 41). Both teams committed quite a few turnovers -- 19 each.
"Maple Heights is a good team -- the third seed in the tournament -- but I am confident our girls will give them a good game," said Greenberg.
For fans planning to go to Maple Heights, they can go up I-271 to Broadway and then north to the school or continue on I-271 and west on I-480 to Broadway, then drive south to the school, which is at Maple Heights Boulevard and Lee Road, just north of Broadway.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4188