OREGON, Ohio – Jared Wilson got a putback basket off an Andrew Thornton miss with under two seconds to play, stunning Woodmore 62-60 Wednesday in a Division III boys basketball sectional semifinal at Oregon Clay.
However, two days later the Bulldogs saw rival Evergreen use a strong second half to push them to a 55-41 win for the sectional title.
Swanton started off red-hot against Woodmore as Wilson’s three early triples, along with scores from Josh Vance, Randy Slink and Thornton rammed the Bulldogs out to a 20-7 lead early in the second quarter.
To that point, the Wildcats were 0 of 7 from the three-point line and beyond, as Drew Burnor and his teammates tried from distances up to 30 feet with no success.
That was soon to change as Paul Koenig came off the bench to hit three from howitzer range to get the Wildcats back to single digits, 30-21, halfway through the second.
Slink and Thornton got inside for the Bulldogs but Burnor scored from way outside the arc and with the Bulldogs getting into deep foul trouble, the Wildcats hit 9 of 13 from the line to get within 35-29 at the half.
Swanton shot 14 of 27 from the field in the first 16 minutes compared to the Wildcats’ 8 for 27, but Woodmore’s barrage of three-pointers along with the work at the stripe kept them close.
Burnor and Koenig got even hotter in the third quarter, zoning in time and time again, as Woodmore outscored Swanton 22-11 and took a 51-46 lead into the fourth.
By that time Slink, and point guard Dylan Gilsdorf, had three fouls each.
But instead of going inside and trying to draw a fourth on each, Woodmore continued to strafe from way outside and just as quickly as the Wildcats heated up, they cooled off again.
Wilson hit a triple for the Bulldogs and Slink got inside again and again to give Swanton the lead back at 58-55.
Slink broke a 58-58 tie with a bucket in close, but Burnor countered that with under 30 seconds left to knot the score at 60-60.
Then, on a night where shots were being fired and hit from the volleyball lines to the Clay logos on the wings, it was Wilson who scored the biggest one of the night from the shortest distance possible.
With time running down, the 6’ senior grabbed a Thornton miss for a putback with 1.4 seconds left for a game winner that sent Swanton to the sectional final.
His final deuce gave him a team-high 19 points on the night. Slink added 16, Vance 11 and Thornton 10.
Burnor ended up with a game-high 25 for the Wildcats.
Vikings pull away for title
Nobody really relishes the idea of having to beat a team for the third time in a season.
It’s even more stressful when that team is an archrival and wants a piece of you after a one point loss at home just four weeks earlier.
However in the end it was Evergreen who made good things happen in threes, as the Vikings used a strong second half to put away the stubborn Swanton Bulldogs 55-41 to win the sectional title Friday.
For Swanton, Slink started the Evergreen game where he left off with Woodmore two days earlier, as the senior knocked in a foul line jumper under pressure, used a power move to bull inside for a score, then canned a pair of triples to give him a 10-point first quarter and the Bulldogs a three point lead.
Evergreen stayed tight as Borojevich hit a baseline jumper, then took a feed from Brighton for a three-point play, and Loeffler swished a pair of triples in the mug of a Swanton defender.
Borojevich’s third field goal of the quarter brought the Vikings within a point at 16-15, 42 seconds before the end of the first.
Wilson, who was quiet the first eight minutes, scored 49 ticks into the second to again give Swanton a three point lead, but after Brighton and Loeffler hit 3 of 4 from the foul stripe, Borojevich struck from long range to give Evergreen a 21-18 lead.
Swanton forged a tie when Josh Vance split a pair with 1:28 left, however, Evergreen got the lead back 21 seconds later when Borojevich found Brighton inside for a 23-21 lead.
Again it was Slink, and again under pressure, with a fall away just before the first half buzzer to bring Swanton back to even, 23-23.
Brighton and Slink traded hoops to open the second half, then Brighton’s spin for a three-point play was offset by Wilson’s drive and a Vance free throw that kept the game tied at 28-28 with 5:06 left in the third.
The Bulldogs would not hit another field goal for another eight minutes as the Evergreen defense forced three turnovers and forced the Bulldogs into a series of one-and-done shots.
For the rest of the third, Evergreen sprinted out to a 13-2 run with Lumbrezer accounting for nearly every point.
The 6’3” senior found Loeffler inside for a pair of hoops and Brighton for one more, then hit a corner triple with 50 seconds left in the third to give the Vikings a 41-30 lead.
Lumbrezer wasn’t done yet as he opened the fourth by splitting the key for an uncontested layup and then fed Loeffler for a spin move that blew the Viking lead to 45-30.
“I thought we did a better job spacing in the second half,” Evergreen head coach Jerry Keifer explained. “In the first half Swanton was coming pretty hard with their double inside and I thought we did a better job spacing. Nic and Chandler from outside on the kick out from the post and that spread them out a little bit. That got us a lot of really good looks and Nate and Mason didn’t miss them.”
Thornton broke the Bulldogs’ long drought by hitting from close range with 5:12 left, but after the Vikes spread the floor, Borojevich found Brighton for an easy layup at the four minute mark to regain the 15-point lead.
Dylan Gilsdorf tripled to get Swanton back to 12 but Evergreen again spread the floor and forced the Bulldogs to foul and put the game away hitting 8 of 10 in the last two minutes to give them the sectional title.
Four Vikings hit double figures as Loeffler led the way with 18 points. Borojevich had 14 while Brighton added 13.
Lumbrezer had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. He also added seven assists.
Slink had 18 for Swanton, but just four in the second half.
The Vikings, now 20-4, play third-ranked and 23-0 Genoa at Toledo Central Catholic Thursday night at 6:15 p.m. in the opening round of the Division III district.
Swanton finishes the season at 10-14.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org