The Cuyahoga Falls boys basketball team started the season out the way coach Rob Slone had hoped.
Going into this weekend, the Black Tigers are 2-0. Falls scored a season opening victory over Columbus Eastmoor 53-45 at the Clark Kellogg Tip-off Classic at Pickerington High School Dec. 1. Falls then won its home opener 68-57 Dec. 4 over Norton.
The win over the Panthers was the third straight consecutive time the Black Tigers have defeated them, but this time it was different.
"The previous two years, they were missing a player. They were at full strength," Slone said. "We forced them out of the middle and kept pressuring them."
Offensively, Falls rained three-balls down upon the Panthers. The Black Tigers hit eight of their nine three-ball shots in the first half.
In the first quarter, Falls jumped out to a 23-6 lead on five three-pointers -- two each by 6-foot-7 junior power forward Angelo Cugini and Josh Ricker and one by Jay Slone.
Though Norton regrouped in the second quarter, three more trifectas came from Devin Speicher, Slone and Josh Brooks and by the end of the third quarter the Black Tigers led by 27.
Norton tried to rally and got as close as 10 points, but could not get closer and hit two meaningless three-point shots to make the final score more respectable.
Ricker led the Black Tigers with 23 points, Cugini scored 22 points, Henry Shaw had eight points, Speicher seven and Slone five.
In the victory over Eastmoor, Coach Slone said, "Jay Slone started the game with a three-point shot and we built off of that."
By the end of the first quarter, the Black Tigers led 13-5, 33-20 by the end of the second quarter and 43-29 after three quarters after building up an 18-point lead,
Ricker led Falls with 20 points, Cugini 12 and Slone 11. Ricker finished with three three-point shots, Slone had two and Cugini one.
Falls was set to host Akron Ellet Dec. 7, but results weren't available at press time.
On Dec. 11, Falls travels to Shaker Heights in a NOC crossover game. Tip off is set for 7:30 p.m.