BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — Maumee junior guard Sophie King connected on a 3-pointer that ended up being the game-winner during a 57-54 overtime win over visiting Swanton on January 29.
“This was a win that we definitely needed to have,” said Maumee coach Jyl McCarthy.
The Bulldogs actually led the Panthers, 26-13, when Maumee began a comeback by closing out the game’s first half with King’s second trey.
Senior guard Jamyson Butler next began the third quarter with another Panthers trey before following classmate and forward Brianna Zattau’s steal-and-basket with an offensive putback that pushed the score to 26-23.
Additional buckets by sophomore guard Brynn Brown and classmate and forward Janessa Green eventually allowed Maumee to tie Swanton at 31-31 with 2:53 remaining in the third stanza.
“I was impressed with the adjustments we made at the half,” McCarthy said. “I ripped into them pretty good and they came back out and did what I asked. We talked about how they were beating us in transition and getting back like we’re supposed to.
“We talked about calling out those screens. We talked about moving the ball. We told them to slow down and not let Swanton force them to play its game.”
The Panthers went on to take their first lead of the contest on a King jumper with 15 seconds to go, but Bulldogs sophomore guard Averie Lutz responded by scoring the frame’s final four points on free throws.
Now back on top 38-35, Averie’s twin sister Aricka began the fourth with a pair of foul shots before increasing Swanton’s lead back up to seven points by scoring again on an assist from junior forward Morgan Pine.
The scrappy Maumee squad refused to give up, however, as Brown, Green, Zattau and junior forward Natalie Winkle combined to score nine of the game’s next 11 points to tie things up at 44-44 with 4:05 remaining in regulation.
“Brianna came in clutch,” McCarthy said. “Nobody works harder than that kid.”
The lead changed four more times on baskets by the Bulldogs’ Averie Lutz, Pine and junior forward Grace Oakes and the Panthers’ Butler and Zattau, but Swanton missed on a last-second chance at a game-winner.
Now in a 4:00 overtime period, Maumee’s Butler and the Swanton duo of Aricka Lutz and Oakes played to a 54-54 tie prior to King’s clutch triple.
“Sophie came through when we needed her,” McCarthy said.
The Panthers stuck within five points of the Bulldogs with strong first-quarter defensive play by Brown, Green, Winkle and Zattau, but the second stanza definitely belonged to Swanton.
A balanced offensive attack allowed the Bulldogs to net 11 points over the stretch, while Aricka Lutz, senior guard Bridget Harlett and junior forward Jessica Dohm combined for four steals while helping to hold Maumee to just six points.
The Panthers outrebounded the Bulldogs 41-37 and sank five treys while converting a respectable 32 percent of its shots from the field in the win.
Brown led the way for Maumee with 13 points, eight boards, three assists and two steals and King scored 11 points and grabbed three rebounds.
“These kids look to Brynn to lead them,” McCarthy said.
Zattau (13 boards, four steals) and Butler (three steals, two blocks) both netted another nine points, Green contributed another eight points, two boards and two steals, Winkle recorded four points and eight rebounds before fouling out with 1:52 remaining in the fourth and senior forward Emilie Engelien chipped in three points, six boards and three steals.
“Emilie came up huge,” McCarthy said. “She was honestly a game-changer. She came out and lit a fire.”
The Panthers, who dropped four-point games to Rossford and Anthony Wayne on December 27 and January 15, broke a nine-game losing streak to improve to 5-14 with the win.
The Bulldogs ended up making eight more free throws than Maumee while converting 67 percent of their 18 shots from the charity stripe, despite the loss.
Averie Lutz led all scorers with 24 points and added six steals, four assists and four rebounds and Aricka Lutz racked up another seven points, seven boards, six steals and five assists.
“They caused mass chaos,” McCarthy said. “They were everywhere. They are good little athletes.”
Oakes (eight rebounds) and Pine (four boards) each scored six more Swanton points and Dohm (three rebounds, two steals) and junior guard Kara Truckor (two steals) tacked on four points apiece.
The JV Panthers were also successful, as a timely 3-pointer by freshman Sydney Bischoff and a clutch rebound from sophomore Lexi Szyndler helped Maumee to a 36-31 win over Swanton.
Bischoff finished with 10 points, Szyndler added nine, sophomore Na’Siah Cope-land and freshmen Jessica Roper and Taylor Westrick netted six, five and four Panthers points and sophomore Maia Wilms tacked on two more.
In spite of the loss, Bulldogs sophomore Samantha Taylor led all scorers with 12 points, and freshmen Evelyn Thompson and Trista Eitnier added another eight and six Swanton points.