Two nights after suffering a 63-39 loss at Archbold to begin NWOAL play on Thursday, the Swanton boys basketball team responded with a 52-41 home victory over Lake.
“I thought we played hard for four quarters,” said Swanton coach Matt Smith on the win over the Flyers. “We were down a man with Zach Dziengelewski missing the game due to a college recruiting visit. We got some good minutes from our bench which we had to have. We had a lot of success when we pushed the ball.
“I think we also kept our composure better when Lake made runs – we didnt panic and stop doing things that got us a lead.”
The Bulldogs made their move in the third quarter after the Flyers’ Zack Ellison began the period with a jump shot to knot the score at 26. Swanton went on to score the next 14 points.
A three-pointer from Randy Slink broke the tie in the Bulldogs’ favor, then Gunnar Oakes added a steal and a dunk, and Duyane Goings and Dylan Gilsdorf also added buckets off steals to make it 35-26 near the halfway point of the third.
Another Bulldog steal led to an Oakes basket yet again, and Gilsdorf tacked on a triple before Lake’s Jordan Bekier finally broke the streak with a basket in the post.
“Gunnar made some big plays and shots when we needed them and Dylan Gilsdorf played his best game of the season,” said Smith on the success of his team’s offense. “He really pressured their guards and that led to transition for us. We talked a lot the past couple practices about staying focused and playing hard every play. One play can change a game and we are a couple plays away from having 3, 4, maybe 5 more wins.”
Ellison would add a three as the waning seconds ticked off in the third, pulling the Flyers within nine, 40-31, heading into the fourth.
However, the Dogs scored first in the fourth on Oakes’ basket at the 5:46 mark, then Tanner Prentice scored inside on an assist from Oakes, Garrett Chandler buried a three and Oakes converted a three-point play which bumped their lead back to 19 with 3:03 left to play.
The Bulldog lead remained at double digits for the final three minutes.
Lake held a lead for much of the first quarter, however, an Oakes jumper put Swanton ahead 13-12 after one. The teams traded baskets to begin the second, then Chandler hit a jumper for the Dogs, Gilsdorf added a hoop off a steal, Goings hit a pair of free throws and Prentice scored off an assist from Oakes to make it 23-14 at the 5:17 mark.
The Flyers then made a run of their own as Jimmy Urias scored twice in the paint in between a pair of three-pointers from Ben Stowers, giving them a 24-23 lead with 1:15 left in the half.
Oakes put the Dogs back in front with a jumper, then Prentice split a pair of free throws to make it 26-24 at the half.
Oakes shot 10 for 21 from the floor for a game high 22 points, while Gilsdorf added 9. Stowers scored 14 and Bekier notched 11 for Lake.
Swanton, after traveling to Northwood Monday, is at Bryan in NWOAL action this Friday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010