WADSWORTH — Often the difference between winning and losing is the ability to play consistently for 32 minutes.
The Wadsworth boys basketball team was unable to find it Friday in a 59-46 Suburban League loss to Nordonia.
“It was a couple poor stretches,” Grizzlies coach Mike Schmeltzer Jr. said. “I thought for about 75 percent of that game, we played pretty well. We’re young and we’re going against a team that’s pretty big and very athletic.
“There were a couple of 1½-minute stretches where we kind of went back to our old habits. We turned the ball over and took a couple bad shots, and it results in points for them.”
Those stretches happened during the third quarter, when the Knights went on a 22-7 run to take a 47-33 lead.
Nordonia closed the quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers by Max Hartman and Eli Linder. Wadsworth narrowed the Knights’ advantage to no less than 11 the rest of the way.
Nordonia applied full-court pressure most of night, but Schmeltzer said he thought his team handled it pretty well. He didn’t think the Knights dictated the flow of the game.
“Honestly I don’t,” he said. “I thought the mistakes we made in the backcourt, we were rushing. We had handled it all game. I think we do that to ourselves. We get in a hurry and we want to put the ball down on the ground to quickly and things like that. It results in bad shots and turnovers.”
Nordonia coach Matt Cash credited Schmeltzer with having the Grizzlies ready to play.
“Mike did a hell of a job,” Cash said. “They played man-to-man all year and pressed. We prepared for pressure and man defense, and he comes out in a zone and throws us off. So that was great coaching on his part.”
Junior guard Patrick Long led Wadsworth (1-4) with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range, while sophomore small forward Austin White (11 points) and junior post Kyle Prunty (9) also contributed.
Nordonia senior Nick Piotrowski led all scorers with 18 points, highlighted by making 6-of-7 free throws.
At 6-foot-6, senior Chris Scott gave Wadsworth problems on both sides of the ball. The All-SL center finished with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
“You’ve got (Scott) in the middle of the paint challenging every shot your post players take,” Schmeltzer said. “That had a lot to do with (the loss).”
Contact Eric Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nordonia 59, Wadsworth 46
NORDONIA 10 15 22 12 — 59
WADSWORTH 9 12 12 13 — 46
Wadsworth — Austin White 5-0-11, Kyle Prunty 4-1-9, Nathan Pound 2-1-5, Anthony Palacek 1-0-2, Patrick Long 4-0-12, Jimmy Elchlinger 0-1-1, Martice Jackson 1-1-3, Ryan Sheppard 1-0-3, Barry Fernholz 0-0-0, Tucker Robinson 0-0-0, Eric Perebzak 0-0-0, Tony Hogan 0-0-0. TOTALS: 18-4-46.
Nordonia — Max Hartman 3-0-7, Eli Linder 2-0-5, Nick Piotrowski 4-7-18, Coleman 3-1-7, Chris Scott 6-2-14, Kitchen 1-0-3, Alex Alders 1-1-3, Niamke 0-2-2. TOTALS: 20-13-59.
3-point goals — Long 4, White, Sheppard, Piotrowski 3, Linder, Hartman, Kitchen. Rebounds — Wadsworth 32 (Prunty 12). Assists — Wadsworth 8 (Long, Robinson 2). Records — Nordonia (4-1, 3-0), Wadsworth (1-4, 1-2). Junior varsity — Wadsworth 46, Nordonia 45.