Swanton’s defense refused to let Patrick Henry get into a rhythm, building a double-digit halftime lead and steadily increasing it as the game went on in what resulted in a 48-23 over the Patriots in Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls basketball Thursday at Swanton.
The Bulldogs played mostly zone on the night, primarily using the 3-2 as it’s a defense that’s been working for them.
“Mostly the 3-2 tonight, and that’s what we’ve been doing lately. Helps us stay out of the foul trouble too. That way in the second half we can make adjustments and get after it if need be. Tonight it just worked out, and they weren’t hitting the shots. Neither were we, but we were getting some hands on balls and steals and getting those layups (at the other end),” said Swanton head coach Eric Oakes.
After Frankie Nelson’s layup for Swanton 1:40 into the game, neither team scored again for almost four minutes. That changed on McKenzie Vance’s 3-pointer at the 2:31 mark to put Patrick Henry in front.
However, Swanton regained the lead for good as Nelson scored inside off a pass from Sammie Taylor, Aricka Lutz recorded a three-point play and 1 of 2 Nelson free throws put the Dogs up 8-3 after one.
They extended their lead to 11 at the beginning of the second stanza on another hoop from Nelson, then Aricka Lutz’ putback of an Averie Lutz miss plus 1 of 2 free throws by Averie.
But the Patriots would trim the margin in half, 14-7, by the 3:21 mark following consecutive hoops from Vance.
The Dogs closed the half on a 6-0 run.
Katlyn Floyd drove to the hoop for a score, Averie Lutz converted a steal into points, then Aricka Lutz’ basket off a pass from Floyd made it 20-7 at the break.
The Bulldog defense was on point in the third, only surrendering a solo PH 3-pointer.
They started the half with a pair of free throws each by Floyd and Aricka Lutz. Then following the three by the visitors, Nelson rattled in a jumper and Averie Lutz’ fastbreak bucket put the margin at 28-10 not even halfway through the period.
“They (Patrick Henry) tried to do a little bit with #42 (Vance) there. I thought the girls, especially even our guards did a nice job getting in the right position. We lost her one time there and made an adjustment — just make sure that we’re on the other side of her when she was at the high post and things like that. The girls did a nice job; we got out on the shooters,” said Oakes.
“Defensively I thought we did a nice job. And Katie (Floyd), and Frankie, and Trista (Eitniear) and even the Lutz’s did a nice job getting in there and rebounding.”
Aricka Lutz scored off an outlet pass and also added two from the foul line to close the period, giving Swanton a 22-point edge heading into the fourth.
The Dogs had three in double figures as Aricka Lutz finished with 17 points, Nelson 12 and Averie Lutz 11. Kenzie Prigge paced PH with nine points.
Although Swanton had some offensive struggles as well in this one, Oakes thinks they are close to turning a corner.
“We shot it great at Cardinal Stritch the other night,” he said. “I thought we shot it decent against Anthony Wayne (Jan. 5) and we were hoping that’d carry over. I don’t think we hit a three again tonight, which is about three games this year. But, we’ll get hot and start hitting some shots. As long as we play defense like that we’ll stay in ballgames.”
Swanton (10-4, 2-1 NWOAL) travels to Springfield Monday and returns home to face Wauseon next Thursday in NWOAL action.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.