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The Nordonia High School girls basketball team is building momentum as the postseason draws closer, winning games against a pair of Suburban League National Division foes recently.
First, the Lady Knights defeated Brecksville-Broadview Heights at home Jan. 25, downing the Lady Bees by the score of 55-49 in overtime.
Brecksville led 13-4 after the opening quarter, and the Lady Bees were on top 25-14 at intermission. However, Nordonia clawed its way back into the contest, outscoring Brecksville in both the third and fourth periods to force overtime. Then the Lady Knights pulled away in the extra session to notch the victory.
"We struggled to start the game against Brecksville," said Nordonia head coach Julie Buckler. "They (the Lady Bees) had a great game plan, but we had a couple of girls who stepped up to hit some key shots to give us the boost that we needed."
Three players scored in double digits for Nordonia. They were sophomore guard Soleil Barnes with 15 points, junior guard Sandra Spellman with 13 points, and freshman guard Lizzie Imrie with 13 markers. Other Lady Knights who cracked the scoring column were senior guard Sarah Turley (eight points), junior guard Ariyaun Robinson (three points), and junior guard Alexi Maciejowski (three points).
On Jan. 28, Nordonia hit the road, traveling to division nemesis Cuyahoga Falls. The Lady Knights posted a 51-39 victory over the Lady Black Tigers.
The game was evenly played in the first half. The score was tied 11-11 after the opening quarter. Then Nordonia slowly pulled away, outscoring Falls 16-12 in the third period and 14-8 during the fourth frame.
Once again, three players reached double figures for Nordonia in the scoring department. Imrie led the way with 18 points, while Turley was next with 14 points and Barnes had 11 markers. Other Lady Knights who scored were Spellman (four points), Maciejowski (three points), and senior forward Jordan Zambach (one point).
According to Buckler, Imrie has become more of a scoring threat for Nordonia over the course of the campaign.
"We're doing some things to isolate her at times (against her defender)," said Buckler. "She can be very aggressive offensively, and it's to our benefit when that happens. When she's playing her game, it makes us a better team."
With the two victories, Nordonia improved its overall record to 9-8. The Lady Knights also sport a mark of 7-4 in the National Division of the Suburban League.
Nordonia has two games scheduled for this week. The Lady Knights battle division foe North Royalton at home on Wednesday, Feb. 1. They'll then host Revere Feb. 4.
The Division I Sectional/District Tournament Draw is slated Feb. 5.