His team pulled off a pivotal victory and got an unexpected Lucky charm, as well.
Nonetheless, longtime Stow-Munroe Falls head boys basketball coach Dave Close decided to keep things in perspective Tuesday night.
Ironically enough, a recent comment by a certain Kent State University graduate and Super Bowl LIII MVP had something to do with Close’s practical attitude.
"(New England Patriots’ receiver) Julian Edelman was asked, ‘When you thought about this game, did you think about being the Super Bowl MVP?" Close said. "He said, ‘No I just want to have a great week of practice.’ If you’re a competitor, you need to have that mindset."
Pardon Close’s players if they may be a teeny bit distracted from emulating the 2009 seventh-round draft pick’s point of view.
That’s because they still have dreams of grabbing a prestigious trophy.
Stow, despite an up-and-down season thus far, still has a chance to achieve excellence.
With the host Bulldogs’ plodding a 38-27 win over Twinsburg at James G. Tyree Gymnasium and Nordonia’s stunning 51-45 upset of Brecksville-Broadview Heights on Tuesday, the Suburban League National Conference officially has been turned upside down.
Stow, which looked to be out of the loop heading into its showdown with the Tigers, now controls its own destiny in terms of the National Conference championship picture.
Well, sort of.
The Bulldogs improved to 7-3 in the conference. The Bees, who enjoyed their previous visit to Tyree Gymnasium with a 56-53 victory over Stow in overtime last month, have two losses in the conference.
Brecksville still holds all of the cards at this point. However, if the Bulldogs can avoid another, well, sting from the Bees in their own hive, they have a chance to capture a share of the conference title.
Of course, with the almost paranormal sightings that have taken place on a regular basis in the National Conference, who’s to say they can’t capture the championship all to themselves?
One way or another, it’s a safe bet the Feb. 22 Stow-Brecksville confrontation in Broadview Heights will be a rather hot ticket.
"Brecksville still has some home games left," Close said. "They’re certainly in the driver’s seat to say the least."
In many ways, the topsy-turvy National Conference has resembled the hand game, rock-paper-scissors.
The Knights, who had fallen on hard times prior to Tuesday night’s shocker, defeated the Bulldogs in December.
Stow also lost to North Royalton, which tamed the Tigers Jan. 25. That same Twinsburg squad, appropriately enough, topped the Bees earlier in the season.
Twinsburg, which once appeared to be in prime position to win the conference as recently as two weeks ago, has gone into a rather ghastly funk with three straight conference losses.
Prior to Tuesday, the Tigers dropped a pair of conference games to Brecksville and North Royalton in a span of eight days to fall to 6-4.
Besides the showdown with the Bees, the Bulldogs have to settle matters with conference foes Hudson, Wadsworth and Cuyahoga Falls.
This last-minute quest for the prize begins with the Explorers, who pay a visit to Graham Road on Friday.
By the way, Stow had, perhaps, its best shooting performance of the season when it cruised past Hudson 74-57 last month.
As for the Explorers, their resumé includes two wins against Nordonia and a stunning 68-54 upset against the Bears Dec. 14 on the road.
Meanwhile, Brecksville is scheduled to host North Royalton in a Route 82 clash on Friday.
Will the stars finally align in this zany conference? And will the Bulldogs and Bees be able to separate themselves from the rest of the pack?
Let’s just say Close won’t bet the farm on such possibilities.
"In this league, every week, somebody beats somebody that shocks you," he said. "Right now, we’re focused on Hudson and not worried about what Brecksville does. We don’t have any control over that."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.