After somewhat of a sluggish first quarter, Swanton put together run after run en route to a 57-13 drubbing of Emmanuel Christian in the girls basketball season opener Friday at Kevin J. McQuade Gymnasium.
Due to low numbers within the Emmanuel Christian program, there was no junior varsity game which made the varsity contest start at 6 instead of 7:30 p.m., an out of the ordinary circumstance.
“It’s kind of weird not having a JV game and going through normal stuff that most of these girls have gone through,” said Swanton coach Eric Oakes after the game. “We’re excited because we’re gonna try to just play defense full court. We’ve got girls that can interchange at any position. And see how it goes. Hopefully we clean a few things up, but I was really proud of the way they played.”
The Bulldogs led 13-4 after the opening quarter behind seven points in the period from Emma Crow.
Swanton more than doubled their lead in the second stanza, outscoring Emmanuel Christian 24-4. They even began the period on a 10-2 spurt, opening up a 23-6 advantage.
Coach Oakes did a lot of subbing throughout the game, something he says could become a theme this season. It worked to their advantage in this contest.
“That’s the plan,” he said on his strategy of continuously subbing players in. “We knew that coming in; we’re hoping that’s the way it would be. Would be the interchange (of players). Sub five at a time if we had to or a few here and there.”
A Megan Haselman basket in the paint, then back-to-back hoops from Jessica Finfera, followed by drive and score baskets for Alaina Pelland and Crow that gave the Dogs a 33-7 lead with 1:23 before halftime.
Emmanuel Christian split a pair from the foul line, but Swanton closed the half with hoops from Pelland and Crow to lead 37-8 at the break.
Five different players scored for Swanton in the third and they would take a 47-12 lead into the fourth. Emmanuel Christian could muster only one point over the final frame.
Oakes wants rebounding to be one of his team’s main strengths this season, and he felt they were effective at both ends of the floor against Emmanuel Christian.
“We’ve been focusing on, one of the key points is we’ve got to rebound if we want to be any good,” said the Bulldog mentor. “We got to focus really hard on the defense side of the ball of checking out and rebounding. I thought we did a good job. But then the girls did, they crashed the offensive side too. We had multiple girls running the court hard and able to, if we did miss a layup, a girl was down there at least to try to get the rebound which is good.
“It was just a good win for us to start the year off. Really pleased with how hard they played.”
The Dogs had three players in double figures, led by Crow with 16 points. Finfera notched 12 points and Pelland had 10 points. Allison Fagerman kicked in eight points.
Swanton next welcomes in Lake Tuesday night.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.