SPARTA — Tuesday night the young Highland Scots (3-14, 2-9 MOAC), who led the visiting Cardington Pirates (5-11, 2-9 MOAC) by as many as 10 in the final quarter, hung on and won a thriller, 53-52, in Mid-Ohio Buckeye Conference basketball action Tuesday evening.
It was Jett Swetland (21 points, nine rebounds) who hit the eventual winning layup off a Ryan Burt (15 points, five assists) pass to close the deal against the scrappy Pirates.
“I saw that two defenders came up, so I realized that someone had to be open,” said point guard Burt, who is only a sophomore. “I saw that seam down to Jett and I figured, ‘Why not let him shoot that layup?’”
“My friend Ryan threw a great pass to me,” said Swetland. “I just had to finish it to get the win.”
It was in the third quarter that the Scots had broken things open. Tied with Cardington at 29, Highland went on a 9-0 run. Payton Woodruff and Curtis Belcher hit buckets for the Scots. Meanwhile, Swetland drew a couple of fouls, including one that looked like he got mugged in the lane. With 3:10 to go in the third, Swetland nailed another shot to stake Highland to a 38-29 lead.
From there, the turnover battle started to go the other way. Highland’s lead, too, was beginning to shrink. Senior guard Cameron Smith got a bucket for Cardington, late in the third, to close the lead to 40-34.