Cuyahoga Falls boys basketball team edges Stow

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The host Cuyahoga Falls boys basketball team improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division after posting a 35-34 victory over archrival Stow-Munroe Falls at Stow-Munroe Falls High School’s James G. Tyree Gymnasium.

The Bulldogs had a 34-29 lead with 46 seconds left when the Black Tigers rallied.

Falls’ guard Devin Speicher made 1-of-2 free throws to cut Stow’s lead to 34-30 with 42.3 seconds left and then the Black Tigers’ Matt Lawrence tipped a Bulldogs’ pass that went into the hands of teammate Jay Slone.

After the turnover, the Bulldogs (2-3, 0-1) eventually fouled Matt Lawrence, who made the first foul shot to cut Stow’s advantage to 34-31 with 29.2 ticks left.

Lawrence missed the second foul shot, but Speicher came out of nowhere to get the offensive rebound and finish with a layup. Speicher’s score trimmed the Bulldogs’ lead to 34-33.

Stow then missed the front end of a one and one with 18.7 seconds left and Falls got the rebound.

The Black Tigers got the ball past halfcourt before calling timeout.

After the timeout, the ball went into the hands of Falls’ forward Henry Shaw near the foul line. Shaw dribbled to his left and buried a jumper from the foul line to give the Black Tigers a 35-34 lead.

The clock ran out after the play, but the officials put 2.8 seconds left on the clock.

The Bulldogs called timeout and had to go to the length of the court to win or tie it.

Stow’s Bryan Ritchie’s inbounds pass found forward Colton Short, who took a dribble and heaved the ball near halfcourt. The ball hit high off the backboard and fell harmlessly to the floor as time expired.

Bulldogs’ forward Matt Beech finished with a game-high 18 rebounds and Jacob Williams added nine points for Stow.

Angelo Cugini led Falls with 13 points, including nine in the third quarter. Cugini actually outscored the Bulldogs’ entire team in the third quarter (9-3). Cugini also had a game-high nine rebounds. Shaw finished with nine points.

The Black Tigers had a 23-22 lead at halftime, but Stow led most of the second half.

For more, see the Dec. 23 edition of the Cuyahoga Falls News-Press.

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