For the second straight week Swanton boys basketball played a top notch league opponent down to the wire and for the second straight week, it was the Bulldogs coming out on top. On Friday Swanton survived a stingy Patrick Henry team at home and earned a 46-43 win in Northwest Ohio Athletic League action.
“We knew it was going to be a battle, they’re 9-2 for a reason,” said Swanton Coach Bruce Smith. “Like most of our games, we do some really nice things — got off to a nine point lead. And we do some dumb things. But, you know, we battled the whole way. We were, in my opinion, very fortunate.”
Outside of Swanton taking a 7-0 lead to begin the game and leading by as many as 12, PH refused to go away.
The Bulldogs reclaimed the momentum at the end of the third quarter as Sam Betz and Nic Borojevich converted steals into points on consecutive possessions to bump their lead to 36-26 entering the fourth. Hayden Callicotte’s drive and score 25 seconds into the final stanza gave Swanton a 12-point advantage.
“That was huge,” Smith said. “Getting it from six back up to 10, I thought maybe we might have got it to 12 once but maybe not. That was really big, but we proceeded to shoot ourselves in the foot a couple times in the fourth. I don’t know, I thought a game turner against us was Nic’s fourth foul. I was shocked when I looked and he (the official) was (giving the charge signal).
“We have guys that are unhappy right now to be honest with you, because they didn’t play well. And that’s a good thing, that’s a good thing. They are gonna be hard on themselves. I probably won’t have to say a whole lot because they know.”
With around three minutes to go and Nic Borojevich on the bench, the Patriots began to chip away. Nash Meyer’s 3-pointer with 3:07 to go trimmed the margin to 40-35.
Luc Borojevich hit two from the foul line for the Dogs and PH’s Will Seedorf responded with a jumper kept the Patriots within five.
Nic Borojevich was back in the game for the final minute and reached the foul line, knocking down a pair. But, Landon Johnson responded with a three-point play at the other end which pulled PH within 44-40 with 14 seconds left.
Then after Swanton could not cash in at the foul line, Meyer sank a three to get them within one, 44-43, with four seconds remaining. Luc Borojevich would go 1 of 2 at the line in response, but that gave PH another opportunity in the closing seconds.
The Patriots, however, threw away the inbound pass and another free throw from Luc Borojevich closed the scoring.
As mentioned, the Dogs took a 7-0 in the early going by way of Luc Borojevich’s three, plus buckets by Betz and Nic Borojevich. A Luc Borojevich hoop in between baskets by Gavin Jackson and Aiden Behrman made it 9-4 Swanton after one.
Triples by the Borojevich brothers got the Swanton lead back to 11 and forced a Patriot timeout at the 6:25 mark. The Dogs remained ahead by nine (19-10) after a Betz steal and score with just under three minutes left in the half.
Meyer and Nic Borojevich traded 3-pointers, Patrick Henry’s Drew Rosengarten also hit from long range. A Lathan Pawlowicz deuce for Swanton, and a Lincoln Creager bucket for PH got it to 24-18 at the half.
Swanton is now 11-1 on the season and 2-0 in the NWOAL with the win. This week they travel to Fayette Tuesday, host Wauseon Friday before visiting Genoa on Saturday.
“You only play seven league games which I totally disagree with. That’s the world we live in. You lose one early out of seven and you’re behind the eight ball right away. So starting 2-0 is a hell of a lot better than the alternative,” said Smith on the importance of the win over Patrick Henry.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.