Knight boys split with Copley, Lake

by Matt Deutsch | Correspondent Published:

Last week was an up-and-down week for the Nordonia High School boys basketball team.

The up was a 69-63 victory over Suburban League foe Copley in the Knights' home opener Dec. 7.

The down was a 66-49 defeat at the hands of non-conference opponent Uniontown Lake Dec. 8.

As a result of that action, Nordonia's overall record on the young season stands at 2-1. The Knights are also 1-0 in the Suburban League.

According to Nordonia head coach Matt Cash, his team's victory over the Indians was an up-tempo affair.

"It was a fast-paced, exciting game," said Cash. "Both teams kept up the pressure for 32 minutes. It was also a very hard-fought game. Our kids played extremely hard."

Copley led 18-15 after the first quarter, but Nordonia went on a 21-6 tear during the second period. The Indians rebounded by outscoring the Knights 18-11 in the third stanza, but ultimately weren't able to overcome their deficit in the fourth frame.

Senior shooting guard Nick Piotrowski led Nordonia with 22 points and five rebounds, while senior guard Damon Luster added 18 points and eight rebounds and senior center Chris Scott accounted for 10 points and eight boards.

In addition, senior guard Kenny Kitchen and sophomore point guard Alex Alders both scored five points and junior point guard Eli Linder tallied four markers.

Also cracking the scoring column for the Knights were sophomore point guard Max Hartman with three points and senior power forward Eugene Coleman with two points.

Cash was encouraged by his squad's balanced scoring attack.

"It depends on the night who steps up and scores for us," he said. "Every kid plays hard. Teams have been double-teaming Chris Scott, putting a kid in front of him and a kid behind him.

"Our guards and forwards have been stepping up and taking the pressure off Chris. That's forced teams to guard other people and has helped us out a lot."

Unfortunately, Nordonia was not able to carry any momentum generated from the Copley victory into its road game against Lake the following day.

"We were sloppy and had no energy," said Cash. "I'm not going to make an excuse for the kids and say that Friday night's game took it out of us. We still have to come out and play hard. We didn't have any emotion or energy, and we didn't get the job done."

Nordonia also didn't shoot the ball well. The Knights were 3-of-22 from three-point land (14 percent) and 14-of-45 on two-point attempts (31 percent).

"The shots weren't falling," said Cash. "We were a step slow the whole night, and when you do that against a fundamentally sound team like Lake, they're going to take advantage of it."

Luster paced the Knights with a double-double, scoring 13 points and collecting 10 rebounds. In addition, Hartman produced eight points and Kitchen contributed six points.

The Knights were set to host Suburban League foe Cloverleaf Dec. 11, but results were not available at press time.

On Dec. 14, they'll travel to Wadsworth. Varsity tip time is set for 7:30 p.m.

Cash indicated that the Knights must elevate their level of play if they want to beat both the Colts and the Grizzlies.

"Against Hudson and Copley, the effort was there," said Cash. "We were pressing up and down the floor. The big message is that even if you're tired, you have to play every game like it's your last. When we do that, we're an extremely tough opponent.

"We're very athletic, aggressive and physically tough. When we don't use our athleticism and we aren't aggressive, we're just an average team, and that showed against Lake."

E-mail:mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone:330-541-9442

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