Tallmadge boys hoops team loses nail-biter to Nordonia

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The Tallmadge boys basketball team's hopes of a league title took a serious hit after losing a 58-55 decision to Nordonia Feb. 7 in Macedonia.

With the loss, the Blue Devils fell to 11-7 overall and 7-4 in the Suburban League. The Knights improved to 10-7 overall and 5-4 in the league.

Nordonia led from start to finish and scored the first 10 points of the game.

The Knights led by as many as 13 (49-36) when Max Hartman buried a 3-pointer late in the third quarter.

But Tallmadge stormed back and cut its deficit to a deuce (56-54) when Andrew Francesconi knocked down a tough jumper in the paint with approximately two minutes left.

The Blue Devils had a chance to tie or take the lead on its next possession, but they had a couple of shots rim out.

David Murray converted two free throws to give Nordonia a 58-54 advantage with 23.8 seconds left.

Francesconi made 1 of 2 free throws with 14.6 seconds left to cut the Knights' advantage to 58-55 and Tallmadge got the ball back with 8 seconds left.

The Blue Devils got the ball past midcourt and called time-out with 2.8 left.

Colten Stricker's 3-point attempt from the right side hit the backboard and the side of the rim before harmlessly falling to the floor as the buzzer sounded.

Four players reached double digits in scoring for Nordonia. Hartman drained five 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 17 points.

Eli Linder finished with 11 points and Murray and Diallo Niamke each scored 10 points for the Knights.

Francesconi had a game-high 31 points and 10 rebounds for Tallmadge.

The Blue Devils earned a 45-44 win in the junior varsity contest.

For more, see the Feb. 16 edition of the Tallmadge Express.

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