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The Nordonia High School girls basketball team has been impressive so far this season.
Proof of that can be found in the Lady Knights' two most recent victories.
In the first of those victories, Nordonia prevailed by a wide 30-point margin. In the second of the two wins, the Lady Knights trailed 18-9 after the first quarter before rallying.
On Dec. 14, Nordonia hosted Suburban League National Conference counterpart Cuyahoga Falls. The Knights blasted the Lady Black Tigers by the score of 71-41.
Nordonia led 27-9 at the end of the opening period, and the Lady Knights were on top 50-13 at intermission. According to Nordonia head coach Julie Buckler, her team's defensive intensity was the key to victory.
"We turned on the pressure like we wanted to," said Buckler. "We've been working on our press and playing an aggressive style of defense. We got some easy looks at the basket because of our defense."
A total of nine Nordonia players scored against Falls. Three of those players reached double digits.
Sophomore guard Soleil Barnes led the way with a game-high 24 points, while freshman guard Lizzie Imrie tallied 13 points and junior guard Sandra Spellman contributed 10 markers.
In addition, senior forward Jordan Zambach scored seven points, freshman guard Dominque Evans accounted for six points, and senior guard Sarah Turley and junior guard Ariyaun Robinson both added four points.
Rounding out the scoring for Nordonia with two points apiece were junior guard Alexi Maciejowski and sophomore guard Sion Williams.
"That was our best shooting night yet," said Buckler. "We really got into the groove. Even one of the referees commented about how well we were shooting."
With the loss, Cuyahoga Falls fell to 4-3 overall. The Lady Black Tigers are also 1-3 in the National Conference.
On Dec. 17, Nordonia traveled to conference foe North Royalton. Despite a slow start, the Lady Knights clipped the Lady Bears by the score of 55-48. In stark contrast to the Falls game, Nordonia trailed early against North Royalton.
"We had a rough start," said Buckler. "Our defense at the start of the Falls game compared to our defense at the start of the North Royalton game was a complete flip-flop. We came out slow and complacent. We woke up in the second quarter, though, and started to play some defense. That got our offense going."
Barnes was once again the high scorer for Nordonia, this time pouring in 19 points.
Also in double figures were Imrie with 12 points and Spellman with 11 points. Other Lady Knights who cracked the scoring column were Robinson with six points, Evans with five points, and Turley with two markers.
Nordonia now owns an overall record of 5-2. The Lady Knights also sport a mark of 4-1 in the National Conference.
"We're getting to where we need to be, and we're getting better," said Buckler. "Our goal is to have some sort of improvement every day."
On Dec. 23, Nordonia will host non-conference opponent Akron Firestone.
On Dec. 29 and 30, the Lady Knights are scheduled to compete in the Brunswick Holiday Tournament.