Antonio Diaz-Mitchell, left, and Timothy Malone of the Seattle Swagger reach for a loose ball while a leaping Michael Scherrer looks on.
The Seattle Swagger captures thrilling win against rival Loyal Heights team
By Coach Rob Mathison
In a thrilling game between local competitors that saw two overtimes, clutch free throw shooting and dramatic drives to the hoop, the Seattle Swagger earned their first victory of the season last Saturday against their rival, the 13-year-old Loyal Heights Boys Basketball Team.
After jumping out to an early 5-0 lead on a steal and lay-up by Antonio Diaz-Mitchell and a long three-pointer by Josh Brown, the Swagger surrendered their lead to free throws before the two teams leap-frogged each other for most of the game.
During regulation play, Diaz-Mitchell poured in 16 points and Michael Scherrer had a key blocked shot on a layup, but their heroics were matched by sparkling drives to the basket and well-executed back-door cuts by the rival Loyal Heights team.
The Swagger were up 21-19 until two clutch free throws tied the game with 23 seconds to go, sending the crowd into a frenzy as both teams tried desperately but fruitlessly in the final seconds for a game-winning score.
Diaz-Mitchell scored four clutch points in overtime play to lead the Swagger, but it was not until Robert Mathison threaded a heavily-defended inbounds pass to a cutting Michael Johnson with 3.2 seconds to play in the second overtime that the victory was sealed, 25-23.
Just as important as the victory was the improvement shown by the Swagger in their fourth game of the season.
“We continue to come together as a team,” said assistant coach Jason Scherrer.
“We are learning how to play together, learning what each other’s strengths are and getting better and better.”
The Swagger will not have long to wait for their next test, as they play an undefeated Yesler team this Saturday at 11:45 AM at Broadview. You can read the results from that game in The Ballard News Tribune.