It wasn't a win, but it was a step in the right direction for the Cuyahoga Falls boys basketball team.
The Black Tigers dropped to 7-8 overall and 2-5 in the Suburban League National Conference after losing to Brecksville-Broadview Heights 61-53 Jan. 27 on the road.
With the win, the Bees improved to 11-3 overall and 7-1 in the National Conference. Brecksville is tied with Stow-Munroe Falls atop the National Conference standings. The Bulldogs suffered their first conference loss after falling to Wadsworth 53-41 Jan. 27 on the road.
The Bees, the defending National Conference champions, had the lead for much of the way.
Brecksville led by as many as 12 (50-38) early in the fourth quarter. The Black Tigers, who had a 26-24 edge on the glass, cut their deficit to six (53-47) after a 3-pointer by senior guard Nate Vassalotti with less than four minutes left.
But Falls, which had missed a couple of front ends of one-and-one situations earlier in the quarter, had some turnovers and missed some open shots down the stretch.
On one particular occasion, the Bees were able to play keep away with the Black Tigers for about a minute before Falls committed a foul. Brecksville, which was in the double-bonus situation at that point, knocked down a few throws to seal the deal.
Falls took advantage of two buzzer beaters in the first half.
Senior guard Ka'Von Gainer knocked down a 3-pointer from the left side to cut Brecksville's lead to a deuce (18-16) as the horn sounded in the first quarter.
Right before the half, sophomore guard Dylan Ball buried a half-court shot as time expired to trim the Bees' advantage to five (29-24).
The Black Tigers got as close as three (33-30) a little more than three minutes into the third quarter when sophomore guard Daizhan Brazile scored a layup off an assist from Vassalotti.
But Brecksville responded with an 11-4 run that was highlighted by 3-pointers from Ganley and senior guard Matt Dimitrijevs.
Three players scored in double digits for the Bees.
Dimitrijevs, who was able to sneak into the lane for a number of layups, led all scorers with 21 points. Six-foot-7, 270-pound senior center Jared Bazil finished with 17 points and Ganley added 16 points for Brecksville, which made four 3-pointers and was 11-of-17 from the free throw line.
Senior center Troy Tofil led Falls with 15 points and 9 rebounds. Vassalotti finished with 11 points and Gainer and Ball each had 8 points for the Black Tigers, who drained seven 3-pointers and were just 4-of-9 from the foul line.