TWINSBURG — It took nearly six minutes for the Stow-Munroe Falls boys basketball team to score its first point of the fourth quarter.
It took even longer for the Bulldogs to get their field goal.
None of these issues mattered in the end, though. In the end, the Bulldogs picked up two crucial conference victories on the road.
Back to back, no less.
Host Stow improved to 2-4 overall and 2-2 in the Suburban League National Conference after earning a gritty 38-35 victory over host Twinsburg Saturday.
The Bulldogs also posted a 50-48 win over host Wadsworth Friday.
Stow’s opponent didn’t have much time to rest either.
The host Tigers also suffered a 44-43 defeat to conference rival North Royalton Friday.
On Saturday, Twinsburg made just 6-of-17 foul shots. The Tigers (2-3, 2-2) also scored just four points in the second quarter as the Bulldogs took a 24-15 lead.
"We had a chance to win the game and we didn’t make free throws again," Tigers head coach Phil Schmook said. "We had the same problem [Friday] with missed free throws. You have to make free throws to win games."
Stow built an 11-point advantage (33-22) heading into the final eight minutes. And that’s when things started coming apart for the Bulldogs.
Thanks to Twinsburg’s vaunted pressure, Stow committed five turnovers in the final period.
As a result of the Bulldogs’ sticky fingers, the Tigers went on a 13-0 run to take a 35-33 lead. Junior wing Kaden Kimmel’s 3-pointer from the left corner concluded the spurt.
In fact, Stow didn’t score its first point of the quarter until sophomore center Van Shyjka split a pair of free throws with 2 minutes, 5 seconds left.
The Bulldogs didn’t get their first field goal of the period until junior point guard Cale Marconi drained a floater.
Ironically, that turned out to be the difference.
Marconi’s basket gave Stow a 36-35 lead. The Bulldogs added another bucket when junior guard Jack Bryden scored a layup on an assist from Deon Horn.
Stow was able to take advantage of these opportunities, thanks to some crucial misses by Twinsburg down the stretch.
"I commend the guys that we’re playing because they played hard, they executed the game plan," Schmook said. "They put us in a position. We took the lead. We should have won."
Horn led the Bulldogs with nine points. Junior post player Roman Sims, who gave the Tigers a spark with some quality minutes in the fourth period, scored a team-high seven points.
"He definitely played hard and played well and battled for us," Schmook said of Sims. "That was something we didn’t have the first three quarters. I’m proud of the effort."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.