Sometimes the numbers game in basketball don’t really add up.
Then sometimes the game is just as simple as who got one more stop than the other.
That was the case as Swanton made one more defensive play with just over four seconds left in overtime in a 46-44 win over Evergreen Thursday in Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys basketball.
The Bulldogs are now 9-1 on the year and 1-0 in the league. Evergreen drops to 3-6 and 0-1.
“That might have been fun to watch but it was stressful for me,” Bulldog coach Bruce Smith said jokingly after. “We’ve played them five times in the last calendar year so we know a lot about them and they know a lot about us. You know it’s a matter of who makes one play more than the other team and tonight it came down to that factor. With a two-point win in overtime that was probably us.”
Early on the Vikings jumped out to a 15-7 first quarter lead as the Vikings got inside the paint time and time again.
Evan Lumbrezer’s top of the key triple was the only outside shot the Vikings took as RJ Shunck, Ethan Loeffler, Brock Hudik and Eli Keifer all scored from in close.
However in the second, the Bulldogs came back from outside the arc led by Rossford transfer Nic Borojevich.
Borojevich hit a series of triples, three in all, including the last at the first half horn to get Swanton back within 23-22.
After Borojevich drew the Bulldogs even at 25-25, Shunck went inside again and Lumbrezer had a steal and score to regain a four-point Viking lead.
Keifer’s pull-up jumper extended the margin to 32-27 but Borojevich struck again from long range and a drive to even the count heading into the fourth.
Sam Betz’ bucket with 4:40 left put the Bulldogs up 38-35.
Shunck hit the first half of a two-shot foul, and after Loeffler’s second chance missed, Lumbrezer stuck back the third try to knot the game again with four minutes left.
Cole Mitchey gave Swanton the lead again with 2:27 left but Shunck found Lumbrezer underneath to tie the game again at the 1:35 mark.
Swanton went for a last shot but couldn’t get anything better than a hurried 25-footer from Borojevich that missed the mark to force overtime.
Betz hit both ends of the bonus to open scoring and Borojevich scored on a drive to boost the lead to four.
“Nic has played a lot of basketball, it’s not a fluke thing like ‘oh this kid is good’,” expressed Smith. “There is a reason for that and that reason is the amount of work put in.”
Lumbrezer’s bucket with 15 ticks left chopped that lead in half and when Borojevich missed the front-end ot the bonus with 8.6 left, Evergreen had a chance.
The Bulldogs with a foul to give, did so with 4.3 seconds left.
On the ensuing inbound, the Vikings went to Lumbrezer coming to the corner but his pass was tipped just enough, which took just enough time to only allow Hudik a hurried triple try that was off the mark, allowing the Bulldogs to survive.
“Even when we were up four there was no time I felt comfortable at all,” Smith explained after. “They have a heckuva guard in Evan. They are big underneath, and you can’t leave Eli alone.”
For the game, Evergreen outboarded the Bulldogs 29-15 and shot 58 percent from the field. However, the Vikings were just 5-11 from the foul line and the Bulldogs committed just six turnovers.
Borojevich had 21 points to lead all scorers.
Lumbrezer had 19 on just 11 field goal attempts for the Vikings.
Shunck added 13 and 10 rebounds.
This week, Swanton traveled to Ottawa Hills Monday and hosts Patrick Henry on Friday. Evergreen is at Cardinal Stritch Tuesday, hosts Delta Friday and Pettisville on Saturday.