MEDINA — Nordonia girls basketball buzzed into the Division I district final at Medina looking to claim its first district title in school history.
When the dust cleared Friday night at the Bee Hive, however, it was the other set of Knights that cutting down the nets.
Third-seed Hoban walked out of the Bee Hive with an 46-43 win over top-seeded Nordonia.
The win gave Hoban (20-5) its 10th district title and the first in Division I. It’s also the first time it has won a district title since 2016.
Hoban will play either Perrysburg in a Norwalk regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday.
The victors did it with defense, limiting Nordonia (22-3) to 17-for-54 shooting (.259) from the floor. That same Hoban defense forced the top-seeded Knights into 19 turnovers.
Although Miami recruit Madison Cluse (17 points, 13 rebounds) got hers for Nordonia, Milwaukee-Wisconsin pledge Hallie Majoros was held scoreless and managed just two rebounds. Lizzie Imrie (10 points, 6 rebounds) had a decent game for the top-seeded Knights.
Hoban flipped the script behind Hannah Schill (11 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists) and Jacquie Roberts (19 points, 6 rebounds).
Hoban survived an 8:38 drought during which it didn’t score a bucket in the first half and took the lead at intermission on a 3-pointer by Schill from the right corner.
Up 16-14 to start the third quarter, Hoban never trailed again.
By the time the fourth quarter started, Nordonia had little left and got beat on fast-break opportunities that allowed Hoban to jump out to a seven-point lead with a little over three minutes left.
Two free throws by Elizabeth Hardman with 15.2 seconds remaining gave Hoban the cushion it needed, leaving the victorious Knights just four wins away from their first state title since 1988.
Hoban’s win also kept Nordonia from winning the first district title in school history, although it could be right back in a district final next season with only senior Imrie leaving as a starter.
The Knights also defeated Strongsville 50-40 in the district semifinal Feb. 25 at Medina.