Freshman forward Lizzie Stefanov and the Stow Bulldogs put on a show Saturday afternoon at Cuyahoga Falls High School.
Stefanov hit four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 14 points to lead Stow, dominant from the start, to a 53-25 victory over the Black Tigers in a Suburban League National Division game.
Bulldogs coach Bob Podges said he was pleased with how his team showed up ready to play. Stow (9-10, 7-5) jumped out to a 8-2 lead and was up by 10 (17-7) by the end of the first quarter.
Stow, which started three freshmen and used a deep bench, forced 22 turnovers to help stay in control of the game.
The Bulldogs played near-perfect team offense, making great extra passes and using back-door cuts and screen-and-rolls to set up wide-open shots.
Injuries have been an issue this year for the Bulldogs, but “three key players returning from injury is a good thing” Podges said.
Back from injuries were senior Jessie Stout, who finished with 11 points, and juniors Lindsey Molnar and Kelly Fenwick (two points).
“Stow is a very well-coached team who showed discipline the whole game,” Falls coach Joe Nowak said.
The Tigers (4-15, 1-11) won the rebounding battle 24-20, but committed 22 costly turnovers, compared to 15 for the Bulldogs.
Despite the score, the Tigers continued to battle and never showed any sign of giving up.
Bailey Brooks led the Black Tigers with 10 points, including a 3-pointer.
Nowak said he was encouraged by the effort.
“Playing underclassmen, it’s been a challenging year for us,” Nowak said. “We just haven’t been able to play consistent basketball, and you will beat yourselves every game because of that.
“We show signs, but you have to stick with it — especially if you want to beat a team like Stow.”