Nordonia girls basketball splits with Bees and Blue Streaks

Roger Gordon

It was a tale of two road games last week for Nordonia girls basketball.

an easy win against Suburban League National Conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights and a heartbreaking defeat against Rocky River Magnificat.

The Knights beat the Bees 53 -33 Dec. 16 and then lost to the Blue Streaks 54-52 in double overtime Dec. 19.

Nordonia is now 5-2 overall and 2-0 in the National Conference.


In the win over Brecksville-Broadview Heights, the Knights led 10-9 after one quarter and then jumped to a 29-13 lead at halftime before extending their advantage to 45-21 after three quarters.

“In the first quarter Brecksville stuck with us, but in the second quarter we picked it up. We hit some shots,” Nordonia head coach Julie Buckler said. “Madison Cluse, our senior forward and point guard, was able to push the ball up the floor and create some offense in transition.

“Kennedy Syllaba, our junior forward, had six points in the second quarter alone from running the floor and doing little things. That created the ability to be able to stretch out that lead. It continued into the third quarter, and then we started subbing and getting some other kids some playing time.”

Cluse wound up with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists.

“Maddie, when the opportunity comes, makes plays,” said Buckler. “She gets some and-one calls and has just been difficult to stop. She makes opportunities for her teammates, too.”

Syllaba had 12 points, five rebounds and five steals, and she did it in about two quarters only.

“Kennedy went down at the beginning of the third quarter, kind of got beat up some, so we took her out of the game,” Bucker said.

In the loss to Rocky River, Nordonia trailed 14-9 after the first quarter but then took the lead 25-22 at the half. The game was tied 31-31 after the third quarter, 39-39 at the end of regulation and 46-46 after the first overtime.

“The game was close all the way through,” said the coach. “Our defense picked up in the second quarter. We were able to push the ball in transition and get some looks down the floor. Not only did it open up inside, but we got a couple little jumpers from Hallie Majoros, our senior shooting guard.

“Maddie took over. She had a lot of attacks and was able to finish very well at the foul line. Kennedy hit a big bucket at the end of the third quarter, and Maddie continued to knock in some foul shots for us. In the fourth quarter, Kennedy had a step-back three-pointer at a critical moment. Sophomore guard Taylor Root knocked in two foul shots in the first overtime.

“We had an opportunity to throw a shot up with 5.5 seconds left in the second overtime. We took what we could get, but Maddie missed a shot.”

Cluse ended up with 20 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. She was 12-of-14 at the free throw line. Syllaba and Majoros each had 11 points. Syllaba also had five rebounds.

“We didn’t get as many shots for Hallie as we would’ve liked because Magnificat face guarded her throughout the game, but she hit some big foul shots in the overtime periods,” Buckler said. “The fact that she only had 11 points didn’t stop her game. She picked it up on the defensive end. She had a tough assignment defensively, but she handled it very well.”

Nordonia is scheduled to host Strongsville Dec. 23 at 7 p.m.

After Christmas, the Knights are scheduled to play in a tournament at Canfield South Range. They are set to play Akron Archbishop Hoban Dec. 28 at 3 p.m. and South Range Dec. 29 at 5 p.m.