Swanton girls basketball could be poised for a transition season in 2018-19 with the loss of five talented seniors from a season ago.
However, fourth-year coach Eric Oakes remains optimistic. “I think we have the talent and ability to be a competitive team,” he said.
The Bulldogs will have to replace Sidney Taylor (first team All-NWOAL, league scoring champion, second team District 7), Haley Nelson (second team All-NWOAL, honorable mention District 7), Ally Hendricks (honorable mention All-NWOAL, District 7), Cydney Christensen (honorable mention District 7) and Kirsten Truckor (honorable mention District 7).
Nelson finished her career with 731 points, Taylor had 704 points, and Christensen 533.
Swanton returns six letter winners from last season.
“We should have a deeper bench this year than in years past,” said Oakes. “We have options to go with a bigger lineup at times or go small and try to use speed to our advantage.”
Back for the Dogs are Bridget Harlett, Adrianne Wood, Madison Pettit, Grace Oakes, Averie Lutz and Aricka Lutz. The Lutz twins each averaged over 5 points per game a year ago.
They will be adding newcomers Jessica Dohm, Kara Truckor, Ashlynn Waddell, Jayla Bartolet, Morgan Pine and Maya Vargas.
“Experience – (we) lost a talented senior class of 5 girls that were very athletic and played most of the minutes,” said Oakes on his team’s biggest weakness heading into the season. “It was also a group that played hard and had great pride on the defensive end.”
Coach Oakes predicts his Dogs to finish fifth in the league race. His top four are Delta, Archbold, Bryan and Liberty Center.
Swanton opens league play Jan. 4 against Archbold.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010