STOW -- One by one, they found nothing but the bottom of the net.

And such a sight was a painful one for the Cuyahoga Falls boys basketball team.

Host Stow-Munroe Falls continued its recent mastery of the Black Tigers after earning a convincing 62-44 victory over their Suburban League National Conference archrivals Jan. 6 at James G. Tyree Gymnasium.

Early in the game, Falls tried to play a slower tempo, which seemed to throw the Bulldogs off a bit.

But Stow's sluggish start turned out to be astonishingly brief.

And of course, the Bulldogs (6-2, 5-0) also had Logan Lindsay on their side.

The senior guard buried three 3-pointers in the first seven-plus minutes to give Stow a 14-2 lead. The Bulldogs never relinquished their advantage.

"They played a 1-2-2 zone on us," Stow head coach Dave Close said. "We hadn't seen that all year and that made a little uncomfortable. We could have forced it, but we didn't and Logan kept hitting jump shots."

The main reason for the Bulldogs' dominance for much of the game was the play of Lindsay, who drained eight 3-pointers during the evening and finished with a game-high 24 points.

"We tried to slow the game down," Black Tigers head coach Kenny Johnson said. "That's the problem when you play a zone against Stow because they can shoot the three. Lindsay is a good player. We lost him a couple of times, but he got it rolling."

Despite Lindsay's early onslaught, Falls cut its deficit to seven (19-12) early in the second quarter after a bucket by senior center Troy Tofil.

Unfortunately, the Black Tigers lost the ball on their next three possessions and the Bulldogs were off and running again.

Stow responded with a 12-0 run and didn't look back the rest of the way.

"We turned it over a few times," Johnson said. "We knew it was going to be a challenge at their place. Stow is eight deep. It's almost like they have eight starters."

The Bulldogs made Falls uncomfortable throughout the quarter with their pressure and ability to trap the ball-handlers.

"We look for opportunities to trap with our pressure," Close said. "Our defense was pretty solid."

Junior point guard Coryon Rice added 9 points and 3 steals and sophomore forward Evan Bainbridge scored 8 points and finished with a game-high 13 rebounds for the Bulldogs. Junior forward Mason McMurray also had 8 points for the Bulldogs.

Stow had a 27-23 edge on the glass. Tofil and Ka'Von Gainer each had 10 points for the Black Tigers.

The Bulldogs also got strong efforts from senior point guard Jared Wright and senior guard Nick Kollar. Although their stats weren't as impressive as some of their teammates, Close was pleased with their ability to make the plays behind the scenes.

"Jared is our spiritual leader," Close said. "He's always talking. A lot of our other guys are quiet. He's a tough-nosed kid. He doesn't care if he scores a single point.

"Nick did a nice job guarding their best player [Gainer]. Both guys are capable of scoring more. They don't take as many shots since they know other guys have better shots. Sometimes, there are good shots, but they're not the best Stow shots."

The Bulldogs were scheduled to host defending National Conference champion Brecksville-Broadview Heights Jan. 13. Results were not available at press time.

Stow is set visit Suburban League crossover rival Copley Jan. 17 before returning home to play National Conference foe North Royalton Jan. 20. Both varsity games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.


Phone: 330-541-9444

Facebook: FrankAcetoRecordPublishingCoSports

Twitter: FrankAceto_RPC