Swanton lost the lead in the second quarter and never managed to get it back, eventually dropping the contest with Miller City 60-39 Monday, Dec. 28 in the opening round of the Bob Fisher Holiday Classic boys tournament.
The Bulldogs got seven first quarter points from Josh Vance and another six from Trent Weigel as they led 15-12 in the waning seconds of the period.
However, the Wildcats’ Thomas Weis had nine in the first quarter on three made triples, the last of which tied the score at 15.
Andon Ruhe’s bucket 38 seconds into the second gave Miller City a lead it would not relinquish — despite Swanton managing to tie it on multiple occasions.
In fact, later in the frame a pair of Vance free throws knotted it at 21 before the Wildcats reclaimed the lead at half on Ethan Burgei’s drive and score.
Hayden Callicotte’s bucket for the Bulldogs 16 seconds into the third made it a 23-23 game, but Burgei’s floater just over a minute later put the Cats back on top. He added a hoop the next time down the floor for MC, and when his attempt at a three-point play fell short, Ruhe was there for the putback.
Ruhe then added a pair from the foul line and Burgei 1 of 2, extending their lead at 32-23 with 4:16 left in the third.
Cole Mitchey of Swanton broke the mini Wildcat run with a basket down low, then following a Miller City basket, Vance went 1 of 2 from the line and also hit a mid range jumper to pull them within 34-28 at the 2:30 mark.
The Cats managed to up the margin back to nine by the end of the quarter, 39-30. They would outscore the Dogs 21-9 in the final frame.
Swanton, however, would have a strong end to the week. They closed out the Bob Fisher tournament by thwarting Delta 46-35 for a non-league victory on Dec. 29. Swanton was paced by Weigel with 22 points and Josh Vance and Mitchey both added 9 points each. Delta was paced by Bryce Gillen with 14 points.
The Dogs then hosted Otsego on Saturday where they bested the Knights 49-38. Swanton was led by Weigel with 14, Josh Vance added 13, and Andrew Thornton had 12. Otsego was led by Joe Dzierwa with 11 points.
“Shot the ball well vs. their zone,” said head coach Joel Visser on keys to the Otsego win. “They played man the second half and pressed and we were able to find some easy buckets breaking the press. Difference was our team defense and rebounding. Blake Szalapski and Cole Mitchey did a great job shutting down their best two players (Ryan Dennis and Dzierwa).”
Swanton (4-4) opens up Northwest Ohio Athletic League play this Thursday when it hosts Evergreen (9-1), then follows that up with a home matchup versus Toledo Christian on Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010