Syllaba rises to help Nordonia girls basketball rout Bears

Roger Gordon

Kennedy Syllaba is not typically one of the leading scorers for the Nordonia girls basketball team.

It was a different story, though, for the junior forward Saturday in the Knights’ 49-23 rout of Suburban League National Conference rival North Royalton on the road.


Syllaba was her team’s leading scorer with 14 points, six of which came in the first quarter.

“Kennedy was able to do some things like crashing the boards, finding some openings in North Royalton’s zone and getting some good shots up,” Nordonia head coach Julie Buckler said. “She was able to find some openings in their zone and get some little shots in that normally don’t always become available. She took advantage of what was given to her.

“Kennedy has been consistent throughout this entire season so far – finding some rebounds for us, getting some big rebounds.”

Nordonia improved to 13-7 overall and 6-1 in the National Conference. The Knights also clinched a share of the conference title. They led 13-4 after one quarter, 28-13 at halftime and 42-17 after three quarters.

“North Royalton works hard. They are working as well as they can with what they have, but we do have some talented players,” said Buckler. “There’s always room for improvement, but if we can limit the points for other teams, then we’re going to be in a much better position throughout the postseason.”

Senior forward/point guard Madison Cluse scored 12 points, while senior shooting guard Hallie Majoros had eight points, including two three-pointers.

“In the first half for Maddie, she scored two of her 12 points,” Buckler said. “It wasn’t what she was able to do for herself in the first half, but it was what she created for her teammates. She just has this ability to create opportunities not just for herself but for her team. Teams are aware of Maddie on our offensive end. She’s just a presence to be aware of all the time.

“With Hallie, it’s the same kind of thing. Teams tend to be more aware of those two. Hallie is our go-to shooter at times. We’re just trying to put her in position to be successful and to help us be successful overall. And it’s not always her points that show what she does on the court for us. Defensively, she tends to guard one of the opposing team’s leading scorers.”

Nordonia is scheduled to conclude the regular season at Warren Howland Wednesday at 6 p.m.

The Knights are seeded seventh and are set to host 33rd-seeded Massillon Washington in a Northeast 3 sectional final Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.

“We had a tough stretch throughout the season with Stow-Munroe Falls twice, Canton McKinley, CVCA and Wadsworth,” said Buckler. “It was hard in a short period of time. It wore us down. Now we’re getting a couple wins under our belt that are helpful as we progress into the postseason.”