Three consecutive wins for the Nordonia boys basketball team raised its overall record to 8-9 and its Suburban League National Conference mark to 5-7.
The most recent victory came by a 42-39 score Saturday at National Conference rival Wadsworth.
The Knights led 16-13 after one quarter and 22-17 at halftime before falling behind 29-27 after three quarters. They outscored the Grizzlies 15-10 in the fourth quarter.
"It was two tired teams," said Nordonia head coach Matt Cash. "The game was at 2:30. We both had played the night before. You could tell the legs were just not there. The outside shots weren’t falling. Both teams were short on layups.
"But we were able to persevere. These kids are continually getting tougher and growing every day. It was an ugly win, but a win is a win, and we’ll take it any way we can get it."
Leading the way for Nordonia was senior guard Julius Jones, who scored 13 points and had six rebounds.
"Julius came out and hit his first couple shots and played well coming back from that ankle injury," said Cash. "I still don’t think he’s 100 percent, but he’s fighting through it, showing his mental toughness and what kind of kid he is."
Senior center/forward Justin Byrd scored seven points and had eight rebounds, while senior guard Evan Wiehe had six points and three assists.
Senior guard Jordan Jones scored six points and had four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
"Jordan has been playing well recently," Cash said. "He was pretty banged up. His knee is hurt, but he fought through it and made some good plays."
The week began for Nordonia Feb. 5 with a 51-45 upset win at National Conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights, who was leading the conference at the time.
The Knights trailed 13-7 after the first quarter, 22-18 at the half and 37-31 after the third quarter before outscoring the Bees 20-8 in the fourth period.
"We were missing some shots in the first quarter, but we held it together and were able to fight through it. We kept our composure," said the coach. "The kids did a real nice job in the fourth quarter putting the pressure on Brecksville.
"Towards the end, we played good defense, stopping their leading scorer, Kenny Ganley, from getting to the hole, and we knocked down some big free throws."
Senior guard Gabe Byrd, Justin’s cousin, scored 13 points and had six rebounds.
"Gabe came off the bench as our sixth man and did a real nice job," Cash said. "He made a couple adjustments offensively and was able to get to the hole and finish real well."
Junior forward/center Robert Watson scored 10 points and had five boards.
"Robert is coming on strong," Cash said. "We were able to get him some good looks."
Jordan Jones scored seven points. Joel Jones, Jordan’s and Julius’ brother, had six points as did senior forward Robby Levak.
On Friday, Nordonia defeated conference foe Cuyahoga Falls at home 61-49.
The Knights led 20-13 after one quarter, 35-27 at halftime and 45-35 after three quarters.
"We played pretty well in the first quarter," said Cash. "We got a little sluggish towards the end of the second quarter and at the start of the third, but we were able to maintain our composure."
Joel Jones scored 14 points, while Justin Byrd had 12 points and six rebounds.
"Joel has been playing well," the coach said. "He’s coming into his own, learning how fast the varsity game is. It’s starting to slow down for him, and he continually keeps getting better.
"It took Justin a little while to get acclimated to Nordonia and our system, but he’s coming on strong. He did a heck of a job defensively and on the boards, and he got some shots to go in."
Julius Jones scored 12 points, and Gabe Byrd contributed nine points, six assists and three rebounds.
Nordonia was set to host Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Tuesday.
The Knights will travel to conference rival North Royalton Friday at 7:30 p.m. and host Aurora Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m.