Streetsboro falls behind early, eventually falls in non-league matchup with Nordonia

By Frank Aceto | Correspondent Published:

By Frank Aceto | Correspondent

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 3-pointers.

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

The Knights improved to 19-2 on the season and are the top seed at the Copley Division I sectional-district tournament. Nordonia also has been just about invincible in its league during the last two years. The Knights have a 27-game winning streak in the Suburban League.

"They were, by far, the best team we played this year," Marcini said. "I know the score doesn't indicate it, but I thought we played hard. We're not going to get better if we play down. Hopefully, this will get us ready for the tournament."

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 3-point line.

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

"It's about time," Marcini said with a chuckle. "Devin was in a little bit of a funk, but lately he has come out of it and has played well for us."

Once the first quarter ended, so did the Rockets' chances of winning.

The Knights buried shot after shot en route to a 29-point quarter. Nordonia knocked down 6 3-pointers, and if there was a rare miss, the Knights usually got the rebound.

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.

"Their big guy changes a lot of shots," Marcini said. "We wanted to focus on him and force them to make outside shots. Unfortunately, that's exactly what they did."

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.

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