It was a critical stretch in the schedule and the Twinsburg boys basketball team came up big with two victories.
Moving to 8-2 overall and to 3-1 in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division, the Tigers also had a huge week earning style points for the Division I post season against top teams in their post season bracket.
The Tigers earned a 51-47 victory in overtime over NOC River rival Hudson (7-4, 2-2) Jan. 11 on the road (see story, Page 29).
Possibly even more impressive was the fact that Twinsburg also had a big non-league road win (73-71) at Nordonia on Jan. 8. Nordonia is 11-2 this season.
"We knew we had a big week coming up and this team just needs to remain consistent," said a thrilled head coach Bob Pacsi.
Senior center A.J. Edwards poured in 24 points in the win at Nordonia.
Point guard Jalen Washington popped in 18 points against the Knights while junior wing Sean Marable had 12.
The scoring balance was strong as junior forward Marcus Wallace netted nine points, senior guard Cooper Rea had six, and junior guard Tallin Johnson had four points.
Pacsi-coached teams usually don't hoist up a lot of 3-pointers, but the Tigers canned eight in this win. Marable had a career high three triples, Washington made three treys while Rea hit two.
Twinsburg had another tough non-league home game on Jan. 15 against Walsh Jesuit (9-1), but final results weren't available as of press time.
The Tigers play Jan. 18 at home in a NOC test against defensive minded Stow-Munroe Falls (6-6, 1-3). Brush (10-2) leads the NOC River at 4-0.
"Many of these teams are ones we will see in sectional and district play, but we're not thinking about that right now," Pacsi explained. "We just want to continue to get better."
Another strong test will come on the road Jan. 20 as the Tigers will experience a tournament atmosphere in the second annual Laricca's See Them Rise Showcase at the Youngstown Covelli Centre.
On Jan. 20, Twinsburg will face Kiski Prep at noon.
Kiski (11-4) is a private school in Saltsburg, PA that has already won the National Prep Showcase in New Haven, Conn.
The Tigers will go up against a Kiski unit loaded with college prospects like 6-foot-6 Rashad Richardson, 7-0 center Satchel Pierce, guard Major Canady, 6-5 wing Daniel Camps, guard Dapo Badmos, 6-5 forward Greg Bearer, 6-8, 250-pound center Houston Dugan, wing Augie Luptak, and 7-0 center Kevin Kcehowski.
Richardson is the top scorer, but Canady (6-4, 200 pounds) is averaging nearly a quadruple-double with 12.8 points a game, 13.9 assists, 10.5 rebounds, and 9.8 steals.
Pierce is averaging 11.3 points, 17.1 rebounds, and an incredible 9.4 blocked shots a game.