Swanton girls basketball returns a wealth of experience as they look to improve on a 13-9 overall record in the 2018-2019 season.
Averie Lutz leads the returnees for the Bulldogs. She was named first team All-NWOAL and second team All-District 7 as a sophomore last season.
Her sister, Aricka, also returns for her junior season. She was honorable mention all-league and in District 7 last season.
“Averie had a tremendous year for us last year and we will rely on her for heavy minutes this year, she put in a lot of extra time shooting in the offseason,” said coach Eric Oakes. “Aricka really heads our defense (took 15 charges last season) and we seem to feed off her on the defensive side.”
Also returning for Swanton are letter winners Grace Oakes, Ashlynn Waddell, Jessica Dohm, Morgan Pine, Kara Truckor, Maya Vargas and Frankie Nelson.
He sees that experience as a strength, along with being a “scrappy team with some speed.” With the depth of the roster, Swanton could start a few different lineups depending on matchups, he said.
“Looking for a big year from sophomore Frankie Nelson, really think she can step up and really be a tough person to defend anywhere on the floor,” said coach Oakes. “Grace, Morgan, Kara, Ashlynn, Jessica all (are) returning letter winners with big roles on our team, will look for great leadership from these seniors.”
Height could be a weakness for the Dogs. Coach Oakes said the team is not that tall and “will have to work hard on rebounding and post defense.”
With so many experienced players coming back, coach Oakes listed just one promising newcomer – Alexis Sarvo, who was recently named All-Ohio in volleyball.
He sees a balanced league race.
“Think league will be very competitive all the way through,” said coach Oakes. “Could see a champ or co-champs with a couple of losses in league play.”
Swanton’s home opener will be Dec. 2 against Cardinal Stritch as they play on the road often during the first part of the season. Their second home game is not until Dec. 20 against Holgate.