Lady Bulldogs Capture Sectional Championship with Win Over Archbold

The Swanton Lady Bulldogs employed a smothering defense in the last three quarters against Archbold, holding the Lady Blue Streaks to 11 points, just one in the fourth quarter and walked off their home court as OHSAA Girls DIII Sectional Champions after a 39-24 victory.  Along with the title, the Bulldogs gained a measure of redemption after suffering a 47-40 NWOAL home loss to the Streaks earlier in the year.

Judging by the first quarter, the game looked it might develop into a shootout as both teams were connecting from outside, mainly from behind the arc.  Swanton drained five three pointers in the opening frame, two each from Averie Lutz and Aricka Lutz and one from Frankie Nelson.  Archbold got two triples from Addison Ziegler and two short jumpers from Harley Phillips and the quarter ended with the Bulldogs on top 16-13.

However, in the second quarter, both defenses began to assert themselves.  The Streaks only managed to score three points, on a basket from long range by Addison Moyer for a 16-16 tie at the 6:54 mark.  Swanton did not fare much better but did get two put backs by Katie Floyd and a lay-up from Averie Lutz for a 22-16 halftime lead.

Both teams still struggled offensively to start the second half.  The Bulldogs were only able to put up another six points and Kylie Sauder kept Archbold in the game by scoring all their seven points, including a three-pointer and pulled her team within five at 28-23.

Swanton was able to dominate the pivotal fourth quarter with their rotating zone defense, frustrating Archbold’s outside shooters and preventing the ball from being dumped down low to the front line.  Leah McQuade’s single free throw was the only score for the Streaks in the fourth while the Bulldogs racked up 11 points, seven from the foul line, to put the game on ice.

Aricka Lutz garnered scoring honors for the game with 17 points and Averie Lutz tossed in 11.  Nelson scored five points, Floyd had four and Alaina Pelland rounded out the Bulldog scoring with two.  Sauder’s seven third quarter points were the high for Archbold.  Ziegler had six point, Moyer and Phillips scored four each and McQuade had three.

The loss ends the season for the Lady Blue Streaks as they finish with an even 11-11 record.  Meanwhile, Swanton improves to 16-8 and moves on to the DIII District Tournament.  The Lady Bulldogs will face the top-seeded Elmwood Lady Royals at Anthony Wayne High School on Thursday, February 25th at 5:30 pm.

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