Solon -- It's very early in the season, but the Stow-Munroe Falls boys basketball team has a losing streak.

It's a modest losing streak, but it's still two straight losses.

The Bulldogs dropped to 4-2 on the season after losing to Solon 72-69 Dec. 28 on the road.

The Comets (6-1) made 14 three-pointers on the evening and rallied from two double-digit deficits to prevail.

Stow led 64-54 early in the fourth. But the Bulldogs had some costly turnovers and a stretch of offensive futility at the worst critical times.

The score by quarters tell the story: Stow scored 28 points in the first quarter and 22 in the third period.

As for the other two quarters? The Bulldogs scored a total of just 19 points.

Stow had trouble taking care of the ball and took difficult shots when there were better options available.

"There was a lack of discipline with the basketball," Bulldogs head coach Dave Close said. "Some of them were turnovers; some of it was because of decision making. We shot too many deep threes."

Still, though, Stow, which lost to Massillon Perry 61-47 Dec. 22 on the road, had its chances.

When junior guard Coryon Rice scored a layup off the dribble, the Bulldogs had a 69-68 lead with about two minutes left.

But Stow didn't score again.

Sophomore guard Trent Williams scored a layup with a little less than 90 seconds left to give the Comets a 70-69 lead.

With 27.6 ticks left, junior guard Sincere Carry converted both ends of a one-and-one situation to give Solon a 72-69 edge.

The Bulldogs missed a couple of 3-pointers on one possession and then turned it over. However, Stow still had a chance to tie it when Solon missed two front ends of one-and-one situations.

But the Comets prevailed when Bulldogs' 6-foot-8 forward Mason McMurray's long three-point attempt hit high off the glass and fell to the floor as the buzzer sounded.

"We lost eight games by five points or less last year," Solon head coach Tony DeCesare said. "The biggest difference is we're more comfortable and confident. We didn't call set plays late in the game. We allowed guys to make plays."

Stow could do no wrong in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs dominated the glass and moved the ball effectively to take a commanding 30-12 advantage early in the second period.

The second quarter turned out to be a much different story for Stow.

The Comets did not give the Bulldogs much room to breathe and Stow looked a bit out of sync on offense.

The Bulldogs had seven turnovers in the period and a 3-pointer by Carry at the buzzer cut Stow's lead to 38-35 at halftime.

"I thought the key was the second quarter," DeCesare said. "We came out with better energy and better focus."'

And Solon made shots.

It didn't matter how far away the Comets were. If Solon put up a shot, it usually found the bottom of the net.

"We have to identify the shooters," Close said. "Some of those threes were pretty deep threes. They've got five guards and we've got two big guys chasing them around."

The Comets led 51-49 with a little more than three minutes remaining when junior guard David Gulley buried a three-pointer from the right side.

However, the Bulldogs stormed back to score the last 11 points of the quarter. Senior guard Nick Kollar capped the run with a left-handed layup off the dribble in traffic to give Stow a 60-51 lead.

Solon was able to chip into the Bulldogs' lead as the Bulldogs committed six turnovers in the final eight minutes. Stow had one stretch where it gave the ball away on three straight possessions.

Sophomore guard Michael Bekelja led Solon with a game-high 24 points, including six 3-pointers. Carry, who knocked down two triples, added 19 points.

McMurray canned three 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 23 points and Coryon Rice added 10 points for the Bulldogs. Kollar and 6-8 sophomore forward Evan Bainbridge contributed 9 and 8 points, respectively, for Stow.

The Bulldogs had a 43-24 edge on the glass. McMurray led the way with 11 rebounds and Bainbridge had 10.

Stow finished with 18 turnovers compared to just 13 for the Comets. The Bulldogs earned a 59-42 win in the junior varsity contest.

Against Perry, Stow trailed 20-13 at halftime and 40-26 after three quarters. McMurray led the Bulldogs with 13 points and Kollar added 10 points.

"We lost the two games for two different reasons," Close said. "We lost the [Perry] game because of lack of toughness and competitiveness. We lost [Dec. 28] because of mental mistakes. We didn't throw it to the open guy and our shot selection was poor."

Stow is scheduled to visit Suburban League National Conference rival Hudson Jan. 3 at Hudson High School's Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium. The Bulldogs are set to host National Conference archrival Cuyahoga Falls Jan. 6. Varsity tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. both days.


Phone: 330-541-9444

Facebook: FrankAcetoRecordPublishingCoSports

Twitter: FrankAceto_RPC