Since the formation of the Suburban League National Conference, Brecksville-Broadview Heights has been a player in nearly every sport.

One exception to that swarm of Bees has been girls basketball, as Brecksville has struggled mightily against the National Conference.

Stow-Munroe Falls ensured those struggles continued Jan. 4. The Bulldogs walked into the Bees gym and came away with a 59-19 thrashing of Brecksville to open 2017.

Stow improved to 7-2, 5-1 in the National Conference as of press time.

According to Stow coach Bob Podges, things in the first quarter didn't go too well.

In fact, Podges was so upset with his starters' effort that he benched them after the first two minutes of the game.

"They weren't playing hard enough," Podges said. "I took them all out and put the second teamers in. I think we took Brecksville lightly. We were sort of going through the motions."

Stow's second unit was still able to take a 10-7 lead after one quarter. With his message sent, Podges let his starters back in the game to start the second quarter.

"To their credit, they responded extremely well," Podges said.

How well?

"I put them back in and we went on a 30-2 run," Podges said.

In short, game over.

Stow outscored Brecksville 18-2 in the second quarter and never looked back.

Up 28-9 at halftime, the Bulldogs kept coming in the second half. Stow would outscore Brecksville 17-3 in the final quarter, as the Bulldogs did not take their foot off the gas.

After doing most of her work on the defensive end during the last few games, forward Lizzy Stefanov found her shot again, finishing with a game-high 14 points, including three 3-pointers.

"She shot the ball really well last night. She had 11 rebounds to go with those 14 points," Podges said. "She's a very talented basketball player."

Another good sign for the Bulldogs was the return to form of junior Theresa Parr. After dealing with an ankle injury around the holidays, Parr scored 12 points in the win.

"Theresa had a lot of mobility last night," Podges said. "She was back to her normal self."

Stow also got 12 points from sophomore guard Emily Andrassy.

Stow's defense shut down the Bees, who didn't have a player with more than five points on the night.

Podges noted the Bees were struggling heavily to find their place. He also noted Brecksville's squad didn't have any members of the school's Division I state volleyball championship team playing basketball.

"I am a big believer in encouraging kids to play multiple sports," Podges said. "If you're playing AAU basketball all year and you come to high school basketball, you're going to get tired of it."

Stow was set to host North Royalton to complete its first cycle of National Conference games, but results were not available at press time.

Stow will complete the first half of its season when it hosts Revere Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.

Podges noted the Revere game last season marked the turning point for the program.

"After that Revere game is when I decided to go full throttle with the young kids," Podges said. "The went on that 10-game run last year and we're 17-3 since then. That's pretty good."

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