Nordonia boys smash Streetsboro, lose finale to Green

by Frank Aceto Associate Sports Editor Published:

Macedonia -- At one point in the second quarter, Streetsboro head boys basketball coach Nick Marcini looked over to the opposing bench, said something and then simply smiled.

"I told them, 'Come on, give us something,'" he said.

It was that kind of night for Marcini and his team.

The Rockets fell to 11-10 on the season after suffering a lopsided 85-43 setback to Nordonia on Tuesday night in Macedonia.

The Knights never trailed and were pretty much unconscious on offense. Nordonia buried 36 field-goal attempts, including 10 three-pointers.

While the final score was one-sided, Marcini knows his team didn't face a slouch.

The Knights are the top seed at the Copley Division I district tournament. Nordonia also has been just about invincible in its league during the last two years. The Knights had a 27-game winning streak in the Suburban League heading in their seaason finale.

Unfortunately for Nordonia, the Knights' invincibility was broken Feb. 22 at home. Green paid a visit and handed them a 68-51 defeat.

Nordonia finished the season at 19-3, 13-1 in the Suburban League. While the loss to Green cost Nordonia a perfect league record, it did not cost them the Suburban League title, as the Bulldogs finished at 12-2 in the league.

Streetsboro is the sixth seed at the Stow-Munroe Falls Division II sectional-district tournament. Fortunately, the Rockets won't have to see Nordonia in the postseason.

In the first eight minutes, the game was extremely competitive.

Streetsboro survived an early spurt by the Knights and went on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 12. The highlight of that run took place when Devin Rencher got the ball on the right side near the three-point line.

Rencher darted toward the rim and threw down a ferocious one-handed dunk that brought the fans to their feet.

"We made some bad decisions where we turned our backs on defense," Nordonia head coach Matt Cash said. "Once we figured things out, we were able to get some turnovers and do the things we normally do."

The Knights buried shot after shot en route to a 29-point quarter. Nordonia knocked down six three-pointers, and if there was a rare miss, the Knights usually got the rebound.

"This was more like the team we wanted to see," Cash said. "We've been averaging six threes a game. We're usually nine deep, but we can go 10. We have different kids step up in every game."

Eli Linder was especially torrid from the outside. He drained three triples in the period and finished with 12 points as Nordonia led 43-26 at halftime.

The Knights weren't nearly as lethal from the outside after the two teams returned from the locker rooms.

That turned out to be no problem at all for Nordonia. That's because Knights 6-foot-8 center Chris Scott could not be stopped.

Scott scored 10 of his game-high 16 points in the third period as Nordonia outscored Streetsboro 23-7. At that point, the Rockets started planning for their regular-season finale against Crestwood Friday night.

A total of 10 players scored for the Knights. Also reaching double figures in scoring for Nordonia were Nick Piotrowski (12) and Kenny Kitchen (11).

Rencher led Streetsboro with 13 points. Paul Jenkins and Brandon Gency each added 11 points for the Rockets.

In the loss to Green, Linder led the Knights with 12 points. Sophomore guard Max Hartman produced nine points and Scott contributed eight points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.

The Knights will open the postseason in a Division I sectional final game at Copley March 1 at 6 p.m. The Knights will play the winner of the Cuyahoga Falls-Wadsworth game.

Email: faceto@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9444

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