Stow: When junior Evan Bainbridge threw down a one-handed dunk with three minutes left in the third quarter of Stow’s Suburban League game against Brecksville on Friday night, it sent James G. Tyree Gymnasium into a frenzy.

Bainbridge flexed after landing in front of the Bulldogs’ student section. Coryon Rice pumped his fist, celebrating the slick behind-the-back pass he had given to set up the dunk. The reserves jumped up and screamed, adding more noise to an already boisterous gym.

Bainbridge finished with a team-high 20 points to lead the Bulldogs (19-3, 12-2) to a 78-41 victory over Brecksville (14-8, 7-7) on Senior Night to clinch the Suburban League National Conference title.

“We’re all competitors and you always want to win a conference championship,” Stow coach David Close said. “When I interviewed back here 30 years ago, they asked me about goals, and I said that a conference championship is a thing that you do on the way to the playoffs. You’re trying to be at your peak at playoff time.”

Bulldogs senior and Ohio University commit Mason McMurray complemented Bainbridge with a double-double (10 points and 12 rebounds) and Bryce Harvey chipped in three 3-pointers and 15 points.

Mike Rose scored 21 points for Brecksville, which trailed 25-6 after the first quarter after a 20-0 run by the Bulldogs.

“We’re playing well and sharing the ball well,” Close said. “Early in the year, we were kind of a three-man team. Now we’re sharing the ball and everyone’s contributing offensively.”

The length of the Bulldogs gave Brecksville trouble all night, as the 6-foot-9 Bainbridge and the 6-8 McMurray made a habit of forcing issues on the perimeter, leading Brecksville to force some shots.

“They’re versatile,” Close said. “They both can shoot and dribble. They’re a force. We’re proud of them. They’ve worked hard, [and] they’re a tough matchup for people.”

Kenny Ganley chipped in eight points for the Bees, who had trouble finding their range from deep all night and finished with just four 3-pointers. By comparison, 14 of Stow’s 28 made field goals were 3-pointers, with Bainbridge making a team-high five.

Senior Ethan Fertag finished with 14 points, four 3s and a team-leading five assists for Stow.

Close said ball movement is one of the Bulldogs’ offensive keys.

“[I liked] our team play,” he said. “Guys moved and shared the ball, which helped us get great shots. One of our team goals is to function as one body, and I think we’re doing that as well now as we have all season.”

The Bulldogs, now on a seven-game winning streak, will host Wadsworth or Firestone in a first-round Division I tournament game at 7 p.m. March 3. As far as Close is concerned, there’s still a lot more basketball left to be played this season.

“You want to win the league — it’s there for a reason,” he said. “We’re not done. We didn’t cut any nets down today.”