Bryan’s size gave Swanton trouble all night as the Golden Bears topped Swanton 50-34 in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys basketball opener on Thursday.
Six-foot, eight-inch big man Reese Jackson led Bryan with 15 points, and six-foot, six-inch Titus Rohrer added nine. The pair also made it difficult for the Bulldog offense down low.
Rohrer scored Bryan’s first six points, and despite an Andrew Thornton turnaround bucket, the Bears led 6-2 with 2:56 left in the opening quarter. Following a Swanton timeout, Jackson added five points and Rohrer one more for a 12-2 Bryan advantage late in the quarter.
Josh Vance and Thornton added Bulldog buckets in the last 34 seconds to cut the deficit to 12-6 after one quarter.
Jackson and Rohrer scored the first eight Golden Bear points of the second quarter as they pushed their lead to 20-8. Swanton’s offenses continued to struggle in the period and Bryan led 24-12 at the break.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to seven in the third on the strength of buckets from Vance, Thornton and Trent Weigel. But Bryan scored the next eight to build their lead back to 34-19.
Thornton stopped the run with a free throw before Jackson and Vance traded buckets to end the third quarter with Bryan up 36-22.
Swanton came out strong in the fourth, scoring the first six points. Two baskets from Thornton and one from Vance made it 36-28 Bryan with 6:18 left.
However, following a Golden Bear timeout, Bryan put the game away. Caleb Zuver buried three triples as Bryan built their lead and finished off the Bulldogs.
Vance paced Swanton with 17 points, while Thornton added 12.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs dropped their third straight game, falling to Ottawa Hills 31-19. Vance and Thornton scored eight points each.
Swanton will look to get back in the win column on Friday when they travel to Evergreen. The Bulldogs won the first meeting between the teams, 50-40, on Dec. 6.