After loss in opener, Nordonia girls basketball rebounds with two win

Roger Gordon
Nordonia senior Madi Cluse puts up a shot during a game last year with Strongsville. Cluse scored her 1,000th career point Nov. 24 in the Knights win over St. Vincent-St. Mary.

It wasn’t a perfect start to the season, but it was a good start for Nordonia girls basketball.

After opening with a loss Nov. 20 at North Canton Hoover, Nordonia rebounded by winning two straight games at home over Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary Nov. 24 and at Suburban League crossover rival Medina Highland Nov. 28.

Nordonia defeated St. Vincent-St. Mary 61-52. The Knights led 13-12 after one quarter, 28-23 at halftime and 39-34 after three quarters.

“St. V. is a quick team. They’re looking to drive to the basket. They did that well,” Nordonia head coach Julie Buckler said. “We just kind of had to maintain and continue what we started in the first game against Hoover.”

Senior forward/point guard Madison Cluse led the way for Nordonia with 20 points.

“Maddy scores from inside and outside,” said Buckler. “She had opportunities to create her own offense by attacking, and she did that. But she also had opportunities to kick out for teammates to score.”

Cluse notched her 1,000th career point in that game and finished the contest with 1,005 points.

“That was a big feat for Maddy,” Buckler said. “For her to earn her 1,000th point so early in the season is exciting for her because it’s a weight off her shoulders. Now, she can continue to play and help our team succeed.”

Junior forward Kennedy Syllaba scored 11 points and point guard Jensen Stehlik had nine points.

Nordonia beat Highland 55-48.

“We were down by three points in the first quarter,” said the coach. “We came back, but then Highland hit some threes and was able to create some offense for itself and made a run in the third quarter to tie the score. Then, in the fourth quarter, Hallie Majoros, our senior shooting guard, had some big shots to expand our lead.”

Majoros wound up scoring 20 points, including six three-pointers. Cluse had 16 points, including four three-pointers.

“Maddy attacked in transition, which creates offense not only for herself but for her teammates,” Buckler said. “She was able to find Hallie numerous times to get open looks. Those two are able to create a lot of offense between themselves. Hallie was feeling it that day.”

Junior power forward/center Marybella Dunlap knocked home three three-pointers.

Nordonia lost 48-36 to Hoover. The Knights trailed 17-13 after the first quarter, 31-21 at the half and 37-33 after the third quarter.

“In the first half Hoover dominated with its attacking, and we struggled with stopping their drives to the basket. That’s something they do very well,” said Buckler. “In the second half we

changed what we were doing defensively, and we were able to tie it up with about three minutes to go in the third quarter, but we just couldn’t maintain that speed that we had started.”

Cluse had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Syllaba notched 10 points.

“Maddy just does what Maddy does,” Buckler said. “She tried to create for herself and for teammates throughout the game. Kennedy did a lot of little things, but she was able to get some easy looks inside based off of drives.”

Majoros contributed seven points.

Nordonia is scheduled to open National Conference play Dec. 5 against Wadsworth