All Austin Swenson was missing was the football helmet and pads.
If those long, pinpoint passes delivered by the Wauconda senior looked familiar, they should have been.
The all-area quarterback showed off his throwing accuracy on the basketball court in Wauconda’s 71-42 win over visiting Round Lake on Friday night.
Swenson finished the North Suburban Prairie Division contest with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. He was constantly grabbing defensive boards and peeking downcourt to hit a teammate in stride. Kodey Thomas was often on the receiving end.
Thomas scored a game-high 22 points (two 3s), dished out 10 assists and added 4 rebounds and 4 steals.
“He gets in his quarterback stance and just fires it down there,” Wauconda coach Scott Luetschwager said of Swenson, whose strong arm comes in handy on the baseball field, too. “Kodey runs the floor well, and Austin knows he’s going to run, so he’s looking for him.”
The win for Wauconda (11-10, 5-4) avoided a season-worst four-game losing streak.
“We had three tough games in a row, and we knew they were going to be tough games,” Luetschwager said of losses to Carmel, Lakes and Grant. “We knew this time of the season was going to be rough on us. We were able to come out, play hard, play our game and not let our tired legs get to us. We were able to fight through that stuff and have fun.”
Thomas and Keith Blomberg (8 points, 4 assists, 4 steals) drained 3-pointers in the opening quarter in helping the Bulldogs build an 18-6 advantage. Swenson’s pair of 3s highlighted a dominant second quarter for the home team, which went into halftime up 35-15.
“We started out a little slow offensively, but our defense the whole game was awesome,” Swenson said. “Once we got a couple of shots knocked down, we were able to get out in transition, get going and build our confidence.”
He and Thomas have been clicking all season.
“The whole season I’ve been seeing Kodey run down the court,” Swenson said. “I just throw it to him. He’s wide open.”
The Bulldogs prefer to fast-break.
“We work on our transition game every day in practice,” Luetschwager said. “If we can get some easy buckets, then we don’t have to worry about working hard on offense.”
Round Lake (3-18, 1-8) received 14 points, including a 3, from junior Karnell Wright, who returned from a two-game absence. Junior Mateusz Lopez added 12 points for the Panthers, who played their fourth straight game without junior veteran Rayshawn Bommon (thumb).
“We’re so young,” Round Lake coach Jim Roberts said. “It’s never an excuse. It’s just a fact. But on top of our youth, we’re dealing with suspending kids for positive reasons to ultimately get the best out of them. Because we’re losing people, we’re constantly in flux.”
Roberts is carrying three freshmen in James Mobley, who scored 26 points against Vernon Hills a week earlier, Michael Green and Kemonti Glover. The latter two were recently promoted.
“They’re athletic,” Roberts said. “We’re just preaching to our kids to keep working every day to get better and just play hard and fight. We’re trying to win little battles.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.