One team had the chance to play the spoiler role.
The other had a chance to keep its conference title hopes alive.
In the end, it came down to one team having the other’s number.
For the Stow-Munroe Falls boys basketball team, it goes something like this: to the victor go the spoils.
The host Bulldogs put a huge dent in Twinsburg’s Suburban League National Conference championship hopes after earning a hard-fought 50-48 victory Friday at James G. Tyree Gymnasium.
With the win, Stow, which earned its fourth consecutive victory, improved to 9-10 overall and 7-5 in the Suburban League National Conference. The Tigers dropped to 12-6 overall and 8-4 in the conference.
Thanks to the Bulldogs’ win, North Royalton clinched no worse than a tie for the conference title. The Bears improved to 10-2 in the conference after scoring a convincing 57-41 victory over Wadsworth Friday.
Twinsburg, Hudson and Brecksville-Broadview Heights have four losses apiece in the conference. All six teams have two conference games left.
Stow scored the game-winning basket with four seconds left.
After the Bulldogs used more than 30 seconds off the clock, the ball went to Van Shyjka. The 6-foot-4 sophomore center, who finished with a game-high 19 points, used a couple of pump fakes to convert a layup in traffic.
The Tigers had a 3-point attempt partially blocked and a reverse layup that fell short as time expired.
Stow led by as many as 11 (35-24) when junior guard Jack Bryden drained a 3-pointer from the left side nearly three minutes into the second half.
However, Twinsburg came back to tie the game on two occasions. The last time was when Junior wing Dante’ Yarbrough converted a layup prior to Shyjka’s game-winner.
Yarbrough finished with 12 points. Senior wing Ken McElrath led the Tigers with a game-high 19 points. Sophomore forward Owen Bainbridge added nine points for the Bulldogs.