Uniontown -- Rumor has it that the Stow-Munroe Falls boys basketball team may take a few steps backward from its success in recent years.
Fortunately for Stow, those rumors may turn out to be pure hearsay.
Stow picked up its first win of the season after posting a 55-42 victory over GlenOak Dec. 4 in Canton.
Despite scoring just five points in the first quarter, Stow (1-1) outscored the Golden Eagles 50-32 in the final three 24 minutes.
The win took place four days after Stow dropped a 56-48 decision to Green in its season debut Nov. 30 in Uniontown.
While losses rarely create a positive vibe, Stow certainly didn't make a shaky impression against Green.
Remember, Stow had just one returning starter back in the lineup and one reserve who played significant minutes.
Green, on the other hand, had several players back that reached a Division I district final last season.
"They're working hard," longtime Stow head coach Dave Close said. "This game shows that we have to work harder. But it's going to be a fun year. These kids love the game and they love each other. We competed against a good team."
Stow actually had the lead (42-40) early in the fourth quarter when forward Matt Beech, the lone returning starter from last season, scored a layup with his left hand off the dribble.
Alas, Stow never led again.
Green went on a 12-3 run to put it away. Forward Carson Corle's putback gave Green the lead (47-45) for good with less than four minutes left. Green sealed the deal by making seven of its last eight foul shots in the final 70 seconds.
"Stow always plays defense and they execute on offense better than any team we'll play," Green head coach Mark Kinsley said. "I think Dave Close is one of the best basketball coaches in the state. He's able to get the kids in the perfect spots to where they can play to their strengths."
Stow raced out of the gates rather quickly.
Thanks mainly to the playmaking abilities of point guard Tyler DeVitis, who was a key reserve last season, Stow stormed out to a 9-2 advantage and led 17-13 after one quarter of play.
DeVitis found open teammates throughout the first eight minutes and his teammates were knocking down shots.
And then Stow hit a cold spell in the second quarter.
A frigid spell, to be exact.
Stow made just 2-of-14 field goals in the period as Green went into the locker room with a 29-21 lead.
Green, which had a significant height advantage, held Stow to one shot on a number of possessions. If a Green player missed, a teammate of his usually got the rebound.
And Stow had a hard time avoiding contact, which led to some turnovers.
"At one point, we were called for five illegal screens," Close said. "It was more about effort plays. We allowed them to get offensive rebounds."
During the last two seasons, Stow got most of its scoring from two players.
For better or worse, that was the case against Green.
Nevertheless, Stow may have found another go-to option.
Guard Jacob Williams, who saw very little varsity action last season, scored a game-high 24 points, including 11 in the third quarter. Williams, who drained a trio of three-pointers in the period, allowed Stow to erase a 10-point deficit (31-21) to tie the game at 40 heading into the final quarter.
"We knew he was going to be one of our best offensive players," Close said of Williams. "We were more aggressive in the third quarter."
Beech was the only other player in double digits for Stow. He scored 13 points and showed a whole repertoire of offensive moves. Beech, who did most of his scoring in the post last season, drove to the basket and showed a soft shooting touch from the perimeter.
Three players scored in double figures for Green.
Dan Fanelly, a 6-foot-6 forward, led Green with 20 points and added a game-high 13 rebounds. Guard Eddie Janini scored 13 points and Corle finished with 10 points for Green.
Beech had a game-high 25 points against GlenOak.
Stow was scheduled to visit Hilliard Davidson Dec. 8. Results were not available at press time.
Stow is set to visit Northeast Ohio Conference rival Strongsville Dec. 11 before returning home to play NOC arch rival Cuyahoga Falls Dec. 14. Both varsity contests are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.