It was quite an evening for Maddy Cluse. It has also been quite a career for the Nordonia girls basketball guard/forward.
Cluse scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Knights to a 44-27 victory Wednesday at home over Suburban League National Conference rival Cuyahoga Falls.
In the process, Cluse broke the school record for career rebounds, and she is only a junior. She now has 679 career boards. The old record was 673.
"That’s just what Maddy does," Nordonia head coach Julie Buckler said. "A big focus of hers all season has been rebounding and putting us in position to be successful. She took over the game against Cuyahoga Falls with her aggressiveness on the offensive boards and defensively always being in a position to make things happen."
Nordonia improved to 19-2 overall and 11-2 in the National Conference.
The Knights actually trailed 9-8 after one quarter, and the score was tied 17-17 at halftime before the home team took control in the third quarter and led 33-22 entering the fourth period.
"In the first half we weren’t doing things that we’d been doing well lately. Our defense wasn’t the greatest, and on offense we weren’t on the same page with each other. Cuyahoga Falls did a good job finding some weaknesses there," said Buckler. "In the third quarter we came out and played together and held them to 10 total points in the second half. Our focus has been defense all season. Emotions were especially high because it was Senior Night."
Also for Nordonia, senior guard/forward Lizzie Imrie scored nine points and had eight rebounds.
"Lizzie kind of got us started at the beginning of the game. Then in the fourth quarter she definitely helped us get away from Cuyahoga Falls," Buckler said. "She had five offensive rebounds, which didn’t always transfer over to a bucket for us, but they always made something happen for us."
Junior guard Hallie Majoros contributed six points on a pair of three-point shots in the second half.
"It wasn’t Hallie’s offense that was crucial foe this game, it was her defense," said the coach. "She started off guarding Cuyahoga Falls’ best offensive player, Chelsea Huffman, who ended up with 17 points, but Hallie held her to five points in the second half."
Nordonia is scheduled to conclude the regular season with a game at National Conference rival North Royalton Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The Knights are seeded first in the upcoming Medina Division I sectional-district tournament. They are scheduled to host the winner of eight-seeded Parma Heights Valley Forge and ninth-seeded Brunswick in a sectional final Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.