Twinsburg -- It has been quite a while since the Stow-Munroe Falls boys basketball team suffered a four-game losing streak.
Pardon the Bulldogs if they would prefer not to get used to it.
Host Stow fell to 6-8 on the season after losing a 70-57 decision to Northeast Ohio Conference Brunswick Jan. 22. The Bulldogs also dropped to 1-4 in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division after losing a 42-33 decision to Twinsburg Jan. 18 on the road.
The Bulldogs were able to capitalize on scoring opportunities against the Blue Devils. That was not the case against the Tigers.
While both teams didn't shoot particularly well, Stow was particularly frigid at Twinsburg.
Still, the Bulldogs managed to stay close to the more talented Tigers for much of the game. Unfortunately, some costly turnovers and poor free-throw shooting (Stow made just 6 of 16 foul shots) doomed the Bulldogs.
"We haven't been shooting well from the line during the last few games," longtime Stow head coach Dave Close said. "We're just having a hard time putting the ball in the basket. We didn't take care of the ball when we needed to do it."
Twinsburg ended the game with a 13-4 run. The Tigers (10-3, 4-1), who were missing point guard Jalen Washington, never trailed in the second half. Washington did not play due to a shoulder injury he suffered in practice.
Guard Sean Marable led Twinsburg with 16 points and forward A.J. Edwards had six points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots.
"We knew they would battle A.J. inside, especially without Jalen," Tigers head coach Bob Pacsi said. "To his credit, A.J. didn't get real frustrated. In the second half, we took away Stow's cuts to the hoop."
The momentum might have taken a 180-degree turn at the end of the first half.
With the clock running down and the Bulldogs' defenders not allowing Twinsburg to get close to the hoop, Tigers' guard Cooper Rea hoisted an NBA-range three-pointer just as the buzzer sounded. That shot, which found nothing but net, gave Twinsburg a 23-21 lead at halftime.
"We had some defensive breakdowns," Close said. "We shouldn't have allowed him [Rea] to get that shot. It was a frustrating game."
As has been the case for much of the season, forward Matt Beech led Stow with a game-high 19 points. Close has no problem with Beech being the No. 1 scoring option. It just seems like he has been the only option of late.
"We need someone to step up and make plays," Close said. "Everybody thinks it's someone else's job."
No other player reached double figures for the Bulldogs. Jacob Williams was Stow's next highest scorer with eight points.
On Jan. 18, Brunswick outscored the Bulldogs 24-12 in the third period to pull away. Beech had 18 points and point guard Nathan Bower added 17 points for Stow.
The Bulldogs were scheduled to host Barberton Jan. 25. Results were not available at press time. They are set to host NOC foe Mayfield Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.