Swanton Outmuscles Liberty Center for Sectional Title


Meeting for the second time this season, this time at the neutral site of Wauseon High School, the Swanton Bulldogs defeated fellow NWOAL foe Liberty Center Tigers 60-51 to capture the Dlll Boys Sectional Championship last Friday night.  In addition to moving on, the victory gained a large measure of redemption for Swanton after suffering a home loss to Liberty Center 45-34 a month earlier.  Many of those who witnessed that first matchup described it as “brutally” physical.  The second game proved to be no different as the Tigers employed at tight full court defense for most of the contest.

“We were prepared for that,” said Bulldog senior guard Hayden Callicotte who was named ‘Hardwood Hero’ by the local television station covering the contest.  “We knew it was going to be really physical and we had to play through that.”  The hard play resulted in 60 trips to the free throw line for the two teams including 27 for Swanton where they sank 22 of the attempts for 81.5%.  “Free throws win basketball games.  So, we had to knock them down tonight,” added Callicotte, who went six for six at the line himself.  Liberty Center hit 78.3% on 18 of 23 free throws.

The first half was relatively low scoring as the Bulldogs took a six-point lead, 24-18, at halftime.  The Tigers were able to shave one point from the deficit entering the fourth quarter but Swanton scored the first seven points and shot 9 of 10 from the line in that frame to clinch the win.  “We got off to a good start, unlike the first time we played them when we got down by 11 early.  It was too much of a hole to climb out of,” said Swanton head coach Bruce Smith.  “They’re very tough.  If we’re going to war, I’m stopping in Liberty Center and picking those guys up,” added Coach Smith, borrowing a quote from a Big Ten basketball coach.

The win advances the Bulldogs to the District Semi-Finals at Napoleon High School this Wednesday at 7:30 PM to face the Wayne Trace Raiders who beat the Delta Panthers 63-40 earlier that same evening.  “They’re really good.  They have some guys that can really play,” said Coach Smith of his upcoming opponent.

Liberty Center:  8-10-16-17 = 51   Landon Kruse (10), Landon Bockelman (10), Colton Chamber (9), Colton Kruse (8), Gavin Greahlen (8), Riley Chapa (3), Zane Zeiter (3)

Swanton:  14-10-15-21 = 60   Hayden Callicotte (14), Cole Mitchey (11), Luc Borojevich (11), Charlie Wood (9), Drew Smigelski (8), Kayden Davis (7)

Click on the link above to access photos from the game. Photos are in the jpeg format to allow for editing and can be downloaded for NO CHARGE courtesy of the fultoncountymedia.com website.

Team Photo Credit: Callicotte Photography

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