The Swanton girls basketball team was dead even with Bryan with 2:25 left in the third quarter but the Golden Bears took advantage of 13 Bulldog turnovers in the last 10 minutes to pull away to a 45-34 NWOAL win at Swanton on Thursday.
“Offensively we went dormant,” said Bulldog coach Eric Oakes. “That’s the big thing we’re trying to get through right now. The turnovers are obviously a concern but I also remember four open bunnies we missed so offensively we need to get better.”
Kyleigh Ramlow’s deep triple at the 5:01 mark of the first quarter gave the Bulldogs a 7-5 lead, but Kennedy Lamberson’s bucket inside and McKenna Grube’s pair of free throws regained the lead for the Bears with 3:07 to go.
Cydney Christensen’s putback with 6:20 to go in the half again knotted the score at 13 and after the Bears traded baskets with 3 of 4 from the line by the Bulldogs, Haley Nelson’s 15-footer from the foul line off the glass gave Swanton an 18-17 lead with 1:43 left in the half.
That lead stood until Lamberson drove for a score with seven ticks left, giving Bryan a 19-18 halftime advantage.
Swanton took it’s biggest lead of the night as Nelson scored going to the rim and Sydney Taylor spun and scooped for a score to put the Bulldogs up 22-19 at the 5:54 mark of the third.
Bryan countered on Grube’s offensive putback and a pair of Delaney Miley free throws to retake the lead at 23-22.
Ramlow split a pair at the line with 2:25 left to again deadlock the score at 23 before the wheels came off offensively for the Bulldogs.
Two Allye Minor triples, Riley Sabina’s putback and foul line jumper off a Bulldog turnover and Kayla Arnold’s basket off yet another Bulldog miscue gave Bryan a 35-25 lead heading into the fourth.
Swanton got within five twice at 35-30 with 6:01 left on a Nelson free throw and again with 3:16 to go when Ramlow split a pair at the line to make it 39-34 but could get no closer.
“Defensively I thought we played pretty well,” said Oakes. “We did give up a couple layups but overall I thought we got more out of what we did defensively than what we gave up. We just have to make decisions passing the ball a little quicker, that second too slow is a difference between getting a good shot or going the other way.”
Minor scored 13 of her 15 in the second half to lead the Golden Bears. Ramlow was high scorer for Swanton with nine.
The Bulldogs (now 4-12) return to action Saturday when they host Toledo Christian at 4 p.m.
Joe Blystone can be reached at [email protected]