As many coaches would attest, basketball can a lot of times be so simple. Whoever can execute their offense better and hit the open shots, will be the team that comes out on top.
That was the case Saturday as Otsego drilled three-pointer after three-pointer – eight to be exact – while Swanton missed numerous close shots in a 49-38 win for the Knights at Kevin J. McQuade Gymnasium.
Each team moved to .500 after the contest as the Bulldogs dropped to 4-4 and Otsego improved to 5-5.
In a game of runs, the Knights got the upperhand in the second half, breaking a 24-24 tie at the half with a 9-0 run to begin the third quarter. It was Austin Meier who drilled a pair of threes in the first 50 seconds, then Mitchell Downs converted from deep to give them a 33-24 edge at the 6:32 mark.
Jared Wilson responded with a long range bomb for Swanton, the Bulldogs’ Randy Slink split a pair from the foul line, Downs hit a floater for the Knights but a drive and score for Wilson got the Dogs within five. Wilson added a triple with 41 seconds left in the third to make it 35-33 after three.
However, Swanton failed to take advantage of their opportunities offensively and Otsego made them pay in the final quarter. They got five points from Meier, plus three from Noah Keifer to build a 10-point edge, 43-33, with just 4:13 left.
Swanton was limited to five fourth quarter points. The Knights also hit 6 of 9 from the foul line in the fourth to put it away.
Otsego looked to run Swanton out of the gym in the first quarter when they built a 10-1 lead not even four minutes in. Evan Harves and Downs started them off with a three apiece, Downs then hit a mid-range jumper, Andrew Thornton got the Dogs on the board with 1 of 2 free throws, and Downs’ basket inside gave the Knights the early lead.
But the Dogs would fight back.
The Knights maintained a six point edge at 13-7 following a Downs trey with 1:51 to go, but Slink’s bucket off his own miss and a Thornton hoop trimmed the margin to two points after one.
Otsego broke away once again in the second quarter as a three from Harves and Keifer’s conversion of a fastbreak opportunity put them up 21-14 at the 4:04 mark.
However, Swanton responded with eight straight points.
Thornton split a pair from the line, Hunter Mix scored on a drive, Slink hit from three and Wilson’s bucket gave the Dogs their first and only lead of the game, 22-21. Over the final 1:46, a Downs triple for the Knights and Dylan Gilsdorf’s bucket off a steal for the Dogs knotted the score at the half.
Downs had 20 points to lead all scorers. Wilson had 10 to pace the Bulldogs.
After their first home game following a six-game road trip, Swanton is back on the road this Thursday when they travel to Bryan (7-4) for the Northwest Ohio Athletic League opener. They then host Ottawa Hills (4-2) on Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010