Hot second half carries Swanton girls past Ottawa Hills, 54-38

By Joe Blystone - For the Enterprise

OTTAWA HILLS – Swanton girls basketball coach Eric Oakes said a few weeks back that when his team hit shots in a game that they would be pretty good.

Oakes’ Bulldogs canned 50 percent in the second half to blow open a close game and defeat Ottawa Hills, 54-38, Monday night.

“You know the other night we couldn’t hit anything in our league game (a 48-41 loss to Archbold),” said Oakes. “We’re going to let a lot of threes fly and the girls did a good job today finding open people, and we knocked the shots down, especially in the second half.”

The Bulldogs jumped up 15-10 after the first quarter as Morgan Pine scored twice inside, Aricka Lutz did the same, and Averie Lutz knocked down the first of seven Bulldog triples on the night.

Frankie Nelson’s three-pointer, Pine scoring inside a third time, and Aricka Lutz’ bucket from the mid-key bumped the lead past double figures at 22-10 with 4:51 left in the half. But, the Bulldogs got into deep foul trouble and failed to score the rest of the half.

Abbie Westmeyer’s three-point shot and Catherine Byrne’s putback helped the Green Bears get back to within five at 22-17 to finish the half.

However, in the third quarter it was all Lutz times two.

The twin guards accounted for all 15 Swanton points as Aricka went coast-to-coast to start the quarter, then later hit a pair from the foul line, a bucket off an out-of-bounds play, hit a triple and for good measure fed Grace Oakes for a bucket on a backcut.

Averie Lutz hit a three-ball and split a pair from the line as Swanton took a 37-25 lead into the fourth.

This time it was Averie Lutz, scoring 12 fourth quarter points – nine coming on three-pointers – as Swanton blew the game open, leading by as much as 19 at 53-34 with 2:11 left.

“We played a lot of kids tonight,” explained coach Oakes. “With the foul difficulties we play a little zone that collapsed on them inside and that bothered them a little bit. We really focused on Westmeyer because she could do a lot of good things out there.

“Usually we are man-to-man so we did a nice job. Girls that don’t usually get into a game like that played well and got some experience, and I think Alexis Sarvo really did a great job coming in and battling inside too.

“Averie hit some big ones in the second half to really get us to open the game up. Anytime we make shots we are going to be tough.”

For the night, Swanton was 20 of 46 for 44 percent while Ottawa Hills was 13 of 48.

Each Lutz twin scored 19 points for Swanton, while Elly Diesen had 11 to lead Ottawa Hills.

The Bulldogs (6-3, 0-1 NWOAL) play at Bryan in NWOAL action Friday, then host Fayette on Saturday.

By Joe Blystone

For the Enterprise

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