Swanton Lady Bulldogs Fall to Top-Seeded Elmwood in District Semis

Swanton Girls basketball Coach Eric Oakes knew that asking his players to match up with the Elmwood Lady Royals was a tall order, given the height advantage that Elmwood had with two front line players listed at 6’1” and a 6’0” shooting guard.  His Lady Bulldogs ably responded well enough to find themselves tied with the Royals early in the third quarter in their OHSAA District III semi-final game at Anthony Wayne High School.  However, in the end, they were unable to overcome the strength of Elmwood’s inside game and lost to the #1 seeded Royals 55-39.

Ironically, Swanton found early success after tipoff by attacking the basket, scoring and drawing fouls.  Averie Lutz and Aricka Lutz each scored on a lay-up and a free throw and Katie Floyd hit two foul shots to stake the Bulldogs to a 9-5 lead at the 4:00 minute mark.  Elmwood responded when Northern Buckeye Conference (NBC) Player of the Year, Brooklyn Thrash, drained a shot from long range, triggering an 18-0 run, stretched between the first and second quarters, to go up 23-9.

Swanton rallied, pulling within nine points, 26-17, by halftime.  The Bulldog comeback continued in the third quarter with the Lutz twins hitting three-pointers and a short bank from Floyd.  Down by just three points, Frankie Nelson knocked one down from deep in the corner and suddenly the teams were tied 28-28.  The Bulldogs had several chances to take the lead but the Royals closed out the period outscoring Swanton 8-3 for a 36-31 advantage heading into the final frame.

Elmwood took full control of the contest in the fourth quarter with both inside and behind the arc baskets.  The Royals lead extended to double digits at 44-34 with six minutes left in the game and slowly grew from there to finish with the 16-point, 55-39 victory.

In finishing their legendary basketball careers, Swanton seniors, Aricka and Averie Lutz, led the Lady Bulldogs on the scoresheet with 15 and 14 points respectively.  Aricka surpassed the 1000-point career mark during the game and Averie ended her career with 950 points.  Floyd and Nelson added four each.

For the NBC Champion Lady Royals, Thrash had 18 points to lead all scorers and became Elmwood’s all-time leading scorer with 1433 points earlier in the contest.  Lainey Bingham and Mackenzie Mareches added 11 points each and Anna Barber scored nine.  Elmwood will now face the Delta Lady Panthers, who defeated the Eastwood Lady Eagles 53-27 in the second game of the night, for the District Championship on Saturday at 2:00 PM at Anthony Wayne High School.

Coach Oakes, his staff and the Lady Bulldogs end another successful season with a 16-9 record and a Sectional Championship.  Along with Aricka and Averie Lutz, the basketball program will be saying goodbye to outgoing seniors Sami Taylor, Maddie Peluso and Emma Operacz.

Pictured: Aricka Lutz scores on a drive inside.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s