Both the Drexel Bobcats and Archie Whirlwinds were looking for an opportunity to move up in the standings.
Down the stretch, Archie (6-6) grabbed that opportunity, winning 38-31 in the WEMO Conference Tournament game Jan. 22.
Despite the nearly .500 records of both teams, each had its own scoring weapon. Drexel’s Javyn Johnston leads the WEMO conference with 22 points a game, while Archie’s Ceasar Swigart is fourth at 15 per game.
The Bobcats’ Johnston carried them in the first half by scoring 16 of Drexel’s 17 points, while Archie’s Swigart was held to just two points during that same span.
“The word is out about Ceasar, and teams are game planning around him,” Archie coach Preston Shipley said at the half.
The word is also out on Johnston. Archie used several players in an effort to slow Johnston down. Nothing seemed to work.
“Our two guys assigned to Johnston got in foul trouble in the first half and forced us to put two freshmen on him in the second half,” Shipley said. That strategy paid off. Johnston was held to only two points in the third quarter, giving the Whirlwinds just enough opportunity to climb back into the game.
Swigart came alive in the third quarter, scoring seven of his eleven points forcing a 23-23 tie with eight minutes left in the game.
While the Bobcats focused on shutting down Swigart, Archie freshman Brady Lett stepped up and took control. Lett scored five of his game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter. Letts’ outside shooting opened up other scoring opportunities for the rest of the Whirlwinds offense. Archie had four players contribute offensively in the final period.
“You know he (Lett) is one of those players who just has ice in his veins. Every time he shoots he expects the ball to go in,” Shipley said.
The Whirlwinds owned the fourth quarter outscoring the Bobcats 15-9, ensuring their first conference victory of the season. Drexel falls to 6-5 on the year.
After the game, Lett tried to explain how a freshman could play so “cool” with so much on the line.
“I am not sure,” Lett commented. “Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have two older sisters.”