Mitchey Free Throws Seal Swanton Victory Over Wauseon
Swanton’s Cole Mitchey sank four consecutive clutch free throws with under a minute remaining in the game to extend the Bulldogs’ two-point lead to six as Swanton held off the Wauseon Indians 29-23 at home Friday night in a critical NWOAL boys basketball contest for both teams. With the Bulldogs holding a 25-23 advantage, Mitchey grabbed back-to-back defensive rebounds and was immediately fouled both times. The junior guard went to the line in a one-and-one bonus situation and calmly netted all four attempts to go along with his two other foul shots from earlier in the quarter, giving him six in a row.
“Up by only two points, I knew I had to score and increase the lead to solidify the win,” said Mitchey. In fact, he made eight of ten free throws in the contest and was the only player in the game to score in double figures with 13 points.
“It was huge. It was huge,” commented Swanton head coach Bruce Smith on Mitchey’s game-sealing performance at the end. “We couldn’t score from the field, obviously, so we had to score from the line. They were real big clutch free throws when you have to make them and you’re up there shaking like a leaf, but he knocked them down.”
Whether it was great defense, poor shooting or a combination of the two, both teams had trouble scoring. The two teams’ best players, Jonas Tester of Wauseon and Nic Borojevich of Swanton, were assigned to guard each other and both succeeded in shutting down the other. Borojevich was able to score only two points and Tester could only manage six.
With the two offensive leaders held in check, it was up to the other players to step up and provide the scoring. “It was kind of surprising to us that they shut him down because usually he is a big part of our game so for us to step up was very important,” said Mitchey, commenting on key contributions of his other teammates.
Like in many of its past contests this season, Swanton jumped out to an early lead over Wauseon but would eventually allow them to claw their way back. The Bulldogs led 8-2 after the first quarter and, after Hayden Callicotte scored on a put-back at the buzzer, 18-9 at halftime. Less than 30 seconds into the second half, Luc Borojevich hit a three-point shot to give Swanton its biggest lead of the game at 12 points, 21-9. It would be the last basket made from the field by the Bulldogs for the rest of the game.
Wauseon mounted a comeback aided by two baskets from beyond the arc by Tyson Rodriguez and four points from Jude Armstrong but could not score after pulling within 25-23.
Along with Mitchey’s 13 points, Luc Borojevich scored eight, Same Betz had for and Callicotte and Nic Borojevich added two each for Swanton. Rodriguez led Wauseon with eight points, Tester scored six, Armstrong had five and Landon Hines added two.
The win moves Swanton’s record to 3-0 in the NWOAL and 13-1 on the season. Wauseon drops to 1-1 in the league and 8-6 overall.
Pictured: Cole Mitchey shooting a free throw.
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