Nordonia girls basketball ready to reach new heights

Roger Gordon
Nordonia guard Hallie Majoros drives to the basket during a playoff game against Strongsville last season.

When asked what her goal for her Nordonia girls basketball team is this season, head coach Julie Buckler said she wants her team to improve on what last year’s squad accomplished.

That’s a might big goal to have, considering the Knights finished 22-3 overall and 12-2 in the Suburban League National Conference a year ago. They lost to Archbishop Hoban in a Division I district championship game.

“We want to continue to get better each day whether it be practice or games,” Buckler said.

Nordonia returns four of its five starters from last season.

“After that, it’s all brand new kids,” said Buckler. “The kind of team we’ll have this year is kind of all up in the air based on the whole COVID thing. We’ve had kids being quarantined. Our goal is to continue to be a defensive team and continue that path.”

Leading the way for Nordonia is senior forward/point guard Madison Cluse, who recently signed a letter of intent to continue her career at Miami of Ohio.

“It’s kind of hard to put your finger on one thing that Madison does well. She’s kind of a jack of all trades for us,” Buckler said. “She runs the point, she can play inside, she can just be a dominant force on both ends of the floor. She can rebound the ball and score.”

Other key contributors are senior shooting guard Hallie Majoros, junior forward Kennedy Syllaba and junior guard Ella Gorta.

Majoros has committed play basketball at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“Hallie has been our top defensive player throughout her career at Nordonia,” said the coach. “She also is a lights-out shooter. She has the potential to impact the game in many different fashions.

“Kennedy does a lot of the little things that you don’t really take notice of throughout a game. She continues to rebound hard and do what she can to help inside the paint and help that defense.

“Ella is small but mighty. She has a way of impacting the game that doesn’t always show up in your stat line. She’s the smallest girl on the floor, but she’ll fight for rebounds like she’s the tallest girl on the court. She may not always get the rebound, but she tips the ball to a teammate or creates something defensively.”

Sophomore guard Taylor Root will get some crucial minutes this season.

“Taylor is one of those younger players who’s going to step up throughout the year and handle the ball for us. She works hard defensively,” Buckler said.

Other team members are juniors Marybella Dunlap, Celine Puscian and Carmella Hack and sophomore Madison McMillan. Also on the team are Jensen Stehlik, Danae Williams, Riley Marxen and Gianna McMichael.