Swanton looked as if they were going to make a come back when they cut the deficit to one late in the third quarter against Cardinal Stritch in non-league boys basketball Tuesday. But, the Cardinals answered with a 19-4 run that carried over into the fourth, helping them earn the 60-45 win.
“We made an effort to get it inside and we missed a good number of shots inside and missed free throws as well,” said Swanton coach Matt Smith of the loss. “We were missing twos and they got hot and were making threes.”
With Cardinal Stritch up 27-20 at the half, Swanton’s Zach Dziengelewski opened the third with a basket in the paint, followed by a three-pointer from Joey Holifield of Cardinal Stritch to make the difference eight.
Dziengelewski then added another basket after rebounding his own miss, Duyane Goings recorded a three-point play, and Dylan Gilsdorf scored off a Cardinal turnover to pull Swanton within 30-29 at the 2:47 mark of the third.
The margin stayed at one with just under two to go as Holifield hit a pair of free throws and Randy Slink responded with a bucket for the Bulldogs.
However, the Cardinals squashed Swanton’s momentum thanks to a three from Collin Yost and baskets by Jordan Burton and Little Anderson, making it 39-31 heading into the fourth.
“I thought we finally started to hurt them inside and play good defense and we cut it to 1 with about 2 minutes left,” said Smith. “We took a couple bad shots and gave them easy looks and they finished the third quarter on a 7-0 run. That was the ball game.”
Holifield kept that run going to start the fourth with a basket inside before Swanton got on the board with a deuce from Goings. Both teams would trade baskets the next two possessions, then Holifield buried a triple and also added a three-point play, followed by a deuce by Anderson to make it 51-35 with only 4:42 remaining.
Swanton used four points from Oakes and a Nick Koback triple to get within 11, 53-42, with 2:40 to play. However, that was as close as they would get.
The Cardinals got a pair of triples from Jeff Dunsmore in the opening quarter to take a 10-7 lead.
In the second quarter, after Nick Staler of Cardinal Stritch opened with a three, Slink went 1 of 2 from the foul line and Oakes’ dunk and tack on free throw kept them within a bucket at the 6:15 mark.
Cardinal Stritch would go on a 10-2 run from there which pushed their lead to 10.
Burton started the flurry with a tear drop basket, then Yost hit a pair of threes around a basket from Gilsdorf. Then it was Anderson’s drive and basket that got it to 23-13 with 2:30 left in the half.
A three-point play by Oakes and Tanner Prentice’s bucket on a fastbreak pulled the Dogs within five, but the Cardinals would get their lead back to seven by halftime.
Swanton shot 31 percent (18 for 57) from the floor while Cardinal Stritch shot 62 percent (23 for 37), which included 56 percent from behind the arc. The Cardinals were 9 for 16 from three.
Oakes had 14 points and Dziengelewski 10 to lead the Swanton offense. Holifield finished with a game high 17, while Yost notched 12 for the Cardinals (17-4).
The Dogs held a 28-24 edge on the glass, as well as a 16-2 advantage on the offensive boards.
Swanton (9-12, 3-3 NWOAL) hosts Delta (1-19, 0-6) Friday to finish off the regular season.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010
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