Stow-Munroe Falls, OH- The #17 Stow-Munroe Falls Bulldogs (10-2) hosted the #2 St. Vincent- St. Mary Fighting Irish (11-2) in a must see top-25 showdown on Tuesday night.
The Fighting Irish came into the game with wins over national powerhouse The Skill Factory and Ohio powerhouse Centerville over the weekend looking to continue their win streak after a close 63-61 loss over Cali powerhouse Mater Dei a few weeks ago.
The Bulldogs set the tone of the game immediately with the physicality both on defense and attacking the lane forcing the Irish to get into quick team foul trouble with eight total team fouls to Stow's three. Kent State commit L.A. Hayes and Irish guard Kevin "Fat" Hamilton led the team with 10 of the 12 total first quarter first points. This would be the only quarter the Irish would lead at 12-11.
Before the second quarter started, Bulldogs head coach David Close could be seen coaching up his players hard to play more physical and find the open man. The Bulldogs did just that led by senior guard Titus Baskerville IV. Baskerville brought the speed to match Hamilton. 6'6 junior guard Reece Raymond-Smith assisted Baskerville with his all around scoring in the second picking up 7 of his first half 14 points. The Bulldogs outscored the Irish 20-12 taking 31-24 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs kept command of the second half jumping out to a lead as much as 13 before the Irish started to fight back. With 2 minutes with in the third, Fats Hamilton got hot and hit 3 straight three pointers to close the quarter including a buzzer beater to cut the deficit down to 49-43.
Hamilton led the Irish on a 7-4 run to start the fourth, before Baskerville made an acrobatic euro step layup to push the Bulldogs back up five. Both teams would score back and forth for majority of the quarter before sophomore forward John Whorton and Hamilton knocked down a pair of free throws each to bring the Irish within one.
The refs made a few questionable calls for each team, but one particular call lead to an Irish player being hurt and Baskerville knocking down two free throws to ice the game left Irish head coach Dru Joyce and other players furious as the Stow section celebrated their 61-58 win.
Raymond Smith led the Bulldogs with 20 points as they improve to 11-2 with tough road games at Green and Brecksville-Broadview Heights coming in the next week.
Hamilton led the Irish with 24 points and 2 assists as they fall to 11-4 with a matchup Saturday against Michigan powerhouse Grand Rapids Central Catholic on the horizon.
This game recap is brought to you by Daystar Ford