A rough third quarter turned a close game into a blowout as the Nordonia boys basketball team lost 69-38 at home Friday to Suburban League National Conference rival Stow-Munroe Falls.
The Knights trailed just 14-10 after one quarter and only 29-22 at halftime.
"We were running our offense, moving the ball well and were getting the looks we wanted and getting layups," said Nordonia head coach Matt Cash. "Defensively, we were doing a good job, too. We actually did a good job defensively all night. We held Evan Bainbridge, their 6-10 kid who’s going to Kent State, to 11 points. Bryce Harvey, their second-leading scorer, also had only 11 points."
Nordonia was outscored 16-2 in the third quarter and was staring at a 45-24 deficit entering the fourth quarter.
"We started out the third quarter by missing our first seven shots. Out of those seven, four or five were layups," said a frustrated Cash. "For some reason, the lid went on the hoop that quarter. We were getting good looks, but we were just missing our shots, which affected us on the defensive end a little bit. Then, we started to hang our heads and get a little down."
Leading the way for Nordonia were sophomore guard Joel Jones, who scored nine points, and senior guard Evan Wiehe, who scored eight points. Each of them had two three-pointers.
"Joel has some sophomore moments here and there, but his play is getting more consistent, he’s getting tougher and he’s getting used to the speed of the game," Cash said. "And it’s shown over the last seven games in which he’s either been in double figures or close to double figures in scoring.
"Evan is our leading scorer. Teams faceguard him all the time. Stow was no different. He was getting grabbed off screens. Right now, the big thing with him is that he’s just got to learn to fight through teams focusing on him and do it on the other end of the floor."
Junior forward/center Robert Watson scored six points.
"Robert has been coming on strong recently," said Cash. "We’re still trying to get him to realize the consistent effort day in and day out that it takes. He’s got a lot of potential and a lot of skill. He’s 6-4 or 6-5, he’s long, and if he just continues to build on that effort day in and day out, he’ll start putting up bigger numbers."
Nordonia is scheduled to play at National Conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights Tuesday
The Knights are scheduled to host conference rival Cuyahoga Falls Friday at 7:30 p.m. before traveling to conference foe Wadsworth Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
They are set to host Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m.