After losing a big first half lead and falling behind Evergreen 21-20 in the middle of the third quarter, Swanton Coach Eric Oakes made a call to the Avengers for a superhero-like performance.
With the Bulldogs on the brink of peril, it was Frankie Nelson who turned into Black Widow to bring Swanton off the edge of disaster to a 48-36 non-league win Thursday night at Evergreen.
The win boosted their record to 3-1 on the year, while Evergreen fell to 2-2.
“Frankie was obviously a big key,” expressed Oakes. “I couldn’t ask them to play better defense and just be patient against their press.”
It was actually Nelson early with two hoops, Alaina Pelland on a pull-up jumper, and Jayden Hendricks knocked down a triple that gave Swanton a 9-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Vikings battled back to 10-8 when Addy Ricker swished a corner three at the 1:50 mark, but Nelson got inside and Pelland used a two-cushion bank shot for a triple to regain a seven point advantage at the end of one.
From there the Bulldogs went silent, going 0-13 from the floor in the second.
Bekah Bowser scored on a spin and drive then a leaner to get Evergreen within 15-12. Then Nelson made her only mistake of the night, taking a forced jumper with eight seconds left that misfired and turned into a Hannah Wilson 3-pointer at the other end to keep the Vikings within one possession, 18-15, at the break.
Lucy Serna’s steal and score to start the second half, Ricker’s drive with the right hand and Bowser’s 2-2 from the line brought Evergreen back to a 21-20 lead, forcing a Bulldog timeout.
Coming out of that stoppage, Trista Eitniear scored on a putback, then Nelson took over.
The senior forward hit a baseline jumper, dished to Pelland on a back cut for two more, then scored six straight points on her own to put Swanton up 32-23 heading into the fourth.
“We missed layups, we missed shots and we are going to do that thoughout the year,” said Oakes “Maybe not that bad but we are obviously not gifted on the shooting side. But if you keep playing good defense, you get some turnovers and we made some huge buckets.
“We just regrouped. Sometimes we hit the panic button and we just calmed down and right after we hit that shot to take the lead we kind of took off from there.”
Serna scored eight fourth quarter points to try to get the Vikings back in touch, but Black Widow dished to Eitniear twice for buckets, and canned 4-6 from the foul stripe to hold off any Evergreen rally as the Vikings couldn’t come closer than eight the rest of the way.
Nelson led all scorers with 19 points and had four assists.
Bowser had 11, and Ricker and Serna 10 each for the Vikings.
Evergreen committed 23 turnovers compared to Swanton’s 17.
After going 6-28 in the first half, Swanton was 10-19 in the second. Evergreen shot 15-46 for the game.