Swanton fell victim to a hot-shooting Delta squad – who hit 10 triples in the game – in a 57-28 loss Thursday in Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls basketball action at Delta.
The win gave the Panthers at least a share of a second consecutive NWOAL title.
“At the very least, it’s a share,” Delta coach Ryan Ripke said on claiming a piece of the title. “We’ll take that. It’s good to get a share, but we’re hoping to not have to share anything. We’re hoping to win it outright and go into the tournament on a high note.”
Delta came right out and buried three triples to start the game. Braelyn Wymer connected on the first two, plus Brooklyn Green added one for a quick 9-0 Panther lead.
“We came out and hit the first three 3s, then we thought we could hit them all and we stopped attacking the basket,” mentioned Ripke. “Our plan was to attack the basket – attack and kick. I thought we did a better job of that in the third and fourth quarter.”
It set the pace as Swanton only got a pair of putback baskets in the period and trailed 10-4 at the end of the opening stanza.
“They made their’s and we missed ours (shots),” Swanton coach Eric Oakes said of the start of game. “We fell behind pretty quick.”
The offensive rebounds also set a pace for the scrappy Bulldogs. They pulled down 12 offensive rebounds in the contest.
Delta went on a 13-1 run over the final four and a half minutes of the half to take a 29-10 lead into halftime. Swanton had switched to a zone, with Delta shooting over the top of it.
“We were trying to stay away from foul trouble,” the Swanton coach said of moving to a zone defense. “We have key people we can’t lose to foul trouble. We only have so many guards. The zone has been working, just today the rotation was a little off. They have so many good shooters, it’s hard to find them all.”
The game also hit a dry spell in the third period. Up 20, Delta went on a scoreless drought that lasted nearly four minutes. Wymer split free throws at the 2:49 mark of the quarter to end it.
“I don’t know what it was,” Ripke said of the run. “We just didn’t seem to have that sense of urgency that I thought we needed. It went through most of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter we picked it up.”
Swanton came back and got six points in a row from Aricka Lutz on a triple and three-point play, but Delta scored the final bucket of the period on a drive to the hoop by Abby Freeman.
The Panthers added the first seven points of the final period, plus picked up triples from Freeman, Brooklyn Wymer and Sam Maurer to close the game.
Braelyn Wymer led all scorers in the game with 20 points. Brooklyn Green added 11 for Delta and Abby Freeman chipped in 10. Averie Lutz led Swanton with 9 points.
Delta finished the game 22 of 47 from the floor while Swanton hit 9 of 44 shots. The Panthers committed 11 turnovers to 16 for Swanton. Delta did win the rebounding battle, 32-30.
Two days later, the Bulldogs traveled to Northwood where they picked up a 47-27 victory. A 20-5 second quarter for the Dogs helped propel them to the win.
Swanton (13-9, 3-4 NWOAL) now turns its attention to tournament action as Tuesday they are in Oak Harbor for a Division III sectional semifinal versus Woodmore beginning at approximately 8 p.m. The winner gets third-seeded Otsego this Saturday at approximately 2:45 p.m. for a sectional championship.
Reach Randy Roberts at email@example.com