It was a busy, but successful week for the Swanton girls basketball team as they picked up three wins in five days.
Swanton blew the game open on Tuesday, Feb. 4 with a 21-3 third quarter advantage, defeating visiting Springfield, 55-42.
“They’re fast, we’d seen them on film, and they shoot a lot of threes,” Bulldog coach Eric Oakes said of Springfield. “The girls found a way to win. I didn’t think we played our best tonight by any means, but we definitely played our best third quarter of the year.
The teams traded blows in the first quarter, mainly Swanton’s Averie Lutz with three baskets countered by Mia Rose’s triple and scoop-and-score, before Kara Truckor’s corner three-pointer gave Swanton a 10-7 advantage after a quarter.
The Bulldogs took an 18-13 lead halfway through the second when Lutz hit from outside the arc before the Blue Devils answered with a 7-0 run.
Leah Swiller’s triple with 1:08 on the clock gave Springfield a 20-18 margin; however, Lutz scored on a baseline jumper with 10 seconds left, then Frankie Nelson’s steal and pass to Lutz for a score at the buzzer regained a Bulldog lead.
That was only a sample of what was to come in the third.
Springfield committed 10 turnovers – many of which led to easy Bulldog baskets at the other end.
Aricka Lutz scored nine of those third quarter points on a layup, a three-ball, and 4 of 4 at the foul line.
Averie Lutz hit two more from outside and scored a fast break basket off one of the multitude of Blue Devil ball-handling mistakes, and Nelson added two more hoops, giving Swanton a 43-23 lead heading into the fourth.
“I’m glad we got a little spark in the third quarter tonight,” expressed Oakes. “A lot of the games we have lost this year have been because of the third quarter but the girls played really solid defense. Kara Truckor came in during the third quarter and did a great job moving over on (Rose) and not letting her drive like she did earlier in the game which was a big help.
“We hit a few threes there, and we got some layups off turnovers. A lot of our game is going to come from the defense and creating turnovers.”
A pair of long range shots by Leslie Hiser got Springfield within 12 at 45-33 with 4:35 left, then Rose knocked in four straight from the line to close the gap to 47-37 with 3:27 left.
However, Morgan Pine helped restore a 54-37 cushion with two buckets inside that helped close out the game.
Swanton shot 20 of 53 from the floor for the game, but was 7-for-12 in the decisive third quarter.
Springfield was 17-for-44.
The Blue Devils also were guilty of 24 turnovers compared to 14 for the Bulldogs.
Averie Lutz had 23 for Swanton, while Aricka Lutz added 14.
Rose had 16 to lead Springfield.
Swanton scored the first 12 points of the game against Liberty Center on Thursday and went on to win 47-41.
The Bulldogs led 12-2 after the first period, but Liberty Center used a big second quarter to cut the deficit to 21-15 at the break. Swanton built their lead back up to 36-22 by the end of the third, and went on to earn a Northwest Ohio Athletic League win.
Swanton (14-5, 3-3 NWOAL) was led by Aricka Lutz with 23 points and Averie Lutz with 12. Liberty Center (9-11, 0-6) was paced by Sam Engler’s 10 points.
Then on Saturday, the Bulldogs handed Otsego just their third loss of the season, beating the Knights 53-42 in Tontogany.
“Main key was trying to first get out and run,” said Coach Oakes. “Otsego is a lot taller than us so we wanted to try and push the ball up the court. Girls did a nice job most of the night being patient vs. their zone. Kara, Grace, Averie all hit big threes and Aricka Lutz had a huge game with 27 points with a couple of threes.”
Swanton led 26-22 over Otsego (16-3) at the half.
“Otsego hurt us on the boards in the first half and thought the girls did a better job the second half checking out. Really proud of the girls, it was a tough week with three games. We have three again this week.” said Oakes.
The Bulldogs played state-ranked Toledo Christian Monday, host Delta on Thursday in NWOAL play, and host Northwood Saturday.
Drew Stambaugh contributed to this article