Richard Doyle | The Gazette
WADSWORTH — The Nordonia girls basketball team arrived with an undefeated record and hopes of ending Wadsworth’s 49-game Suburban League winning streak.
The Knights left with a lesson in high-octane basketball, a 61-22 loss and the distinct honor of becoming Wadsworth’s 50th consecutive SL victim.
The Knights (5-1, 2-1) were hoping to utilize their five-guard approach to break Wadsworth’s daunting press. Like most opponents, they quickly learned it wasn’t going to happen, as Wadsworth (6-0, 3-0) hounded Nordonia all night.
“We wanted to control the tempo and work hard on defense,” Grizzlies coach Andrew Booth said. “Our girls have continued to impress me with their efforts and are being rewarded for it.”
In typical fashion, Wadsworth utilized its full-court press to force multiple turnovers, enabling the deep and talented Grizzlies to take a 20-8 lead at the end of the first period.
“Coming off the bench, Coach always preaches for us to be ready and never let up,” said reserve Taylor Wyatt, who finished with eight points and four rebounds. “Regardless of who we replace, we never want to step off the pressure.”
Joining Wyatt in the first wave of subs were Olivia Thompson (10 points) and Courtney Palange (4 points).
“When we enter the game there is no letting up,” Thompson said. “Our goal is to attack open areas and work as a team. Every day in practice we work at a high speed, and that helps us in game situations.”
The Knights mustered just two field goals in the third quarter and two in the fourth in an eight-point second half.
“Our defense continues to be excellent,” Booth said. “I’m so proud of the effort our girls are making on that end of the court.”
On the offensive end, the Grizzlies continued to receive outstanding contributions from junior Jodi Johnson (game-high 20 points, 4 assists) and senior Peyton Booth (13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists).
“We are still a work in progress,” Andrew Booth said. “We don’t have a lot of size and haven’t for a couple of years now, but what we lack in size, we make up for in heart, hustle and intelligence.”
Jenna Johnson had 10 points and Kaile Pappas added nine as Wadsworth won the junior varsity game 50-14.
Contact Richard Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.