A huge second quarter advantage for Archbold in which they tripled up Swanton, outscoring them 21-7 in the frame, proved to be the difference as the Blue Streaks held off the Bulldogs for a 48-41 win at home to open Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls basketball competition on Friday.
“It wasn’t a pretty game I don’t think by both sides,” said Archbold mentor Brian Ziegler. “We made enough plays at the end. Give Swanton credit. We got them down and they fought back. Made some plays. Took advantage of some things that they could take advantage of. But give our girls credit, we hung in there, fought back and held them off.”
The two sides were even at 9-9 after one quarter of play, but then the Streaks blew up in the second quarter.
They went on a 13-0 run to begin the frame. Kylie Sauder got it started by finishing an outlet pass 22 seconds in, Naomi Rodriguez then laid one in at the 7:03 mark, and two Abi Borojevich free throws made it 15-9.
Another hoop from Rodriguez, Harley Phillips’ three-pointer, plus Addi Ziegler’s putback basket extended the lead to 22-9 with 3:39 before halftime.
“Wasn’t the start we wanted,” admitted Swanton coach Eric Oakes. “We wanted that second half effort that we showed (in the first half). Got a well-coached team against us, we just didn’t get it done in the first half. Either letting them beat us back down for some easy layups or just straight throwing the ball away to them. We didn’t handle the ball (well) in the first half. We missed some shots that, I think (if) we could have got them to go would have picked our confidence up.”
Swanton would mark the final basket of the half – a hoop from Averie Lutz with 23 seconds left – however, they still trailed 30-16 at the break.
A stretch near the end of the third in which Sauder converted 3 of 4 free throws, helped Archbold maintain a 37-25 edge.
Nevertheless, the Dogs countered with an 8-0 run to end the period – including six that came from Aricka Lutz.
First she hit a pair of free throws, then her deuce at the 1:29 mark pulled them within 37-29. Frankie Nelson and Aricka Lutz each converted turnovers into points in the final 1:20, reducing the margin to four after the third.
For coach Oakes, despite being down double digits at half, he was confident his team would respond.
“We know the girls got fight,” he said. “We just got to let the frustration go. Just go out and have some fun. And play, battle through turnovers or if you missed a shot. Not let that get to your head and just play the next play.
“We know that we can do it. Just learn from that. Try to do that for 32 minutes now.”
The Dogs cut it to 37-34 40 seconds into the fourth when Jessica Dohm went 1 of 2 from the foul line. However, Karsyn Hostetler provided the Streaks some breathing room with a triple with 6:23 to play.
Two Aricka Lutz free throws got Swanton back within four, but Borojevich responded with consecutive baskets, and a Sauder drive and score put Archbold up 46-36 with only 1:18 remaining.
“We found a crew in the second half that got us back into it,” said Oakes of his team’s second half fight. “Ran with them as long as we could. Archbold hit some big shots down the stretch there that really kept them right out there in front.
“Happy with the way we battled back. Just wish we had that intensity to begin the game with.”
Aricka Lutz led all scorers with 19 points. Averie Lutz kicked in 14.
For Archbold, Borojevich finished with 13 points and Sauder 11.
Swanton resumes league play with a game at Bryan this Friday. They then host Fayette on Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010