Marcus Swedberg goes up for a basket during MA’s win over Lisbon last week. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
December 19, 2011MOULTONBORO – Some nights, there just isn't an answer for Marcus Swedberg.
Dec. 13 was one of those nights.
The 6-foot-8 forward had 28 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks as his Moultonboro Academy boys' basketball team pulled away in the second half for a convincing 65-42 win over defending Division IV state champion Lisbon.
"I think the Sunapee game was definitely eye-opening so we wanted to come out and play well tonight," said Swedberg, referring to a tight season-opening win over Sunapee. "We had a good second half and that was the difference in the end."
Lisbon, which lost just two games last year during its state title run – both to MA, simply didn't have any post players that could guard Swedberg, and he established his dominance immediately with four early points to give his team a 4-2 advantage.
MA stormed to a 24-11 lead with 3:40 left in the second quarter after Swedberg sank two free throws, though Lisbon clawed back towards the end of the half and got within striking distance. The visitors closed the frame on a 14-7 run despite a steal and breakaway dunk by Swedberg, and the Panthers led just 31-25 at intermission.
Senior forward Mike Donahue added to the MA offense in a big way in the third to help the Panthers pull away however, as he scored the team's first six points out of the half. Drew Swedberg scored nine of his 12 points in the third as well, and his runner in the lane with three seconds left in the period gave MA a commanding 53-36 lead heading into the fourth. All told, MA doubled up Lisbon, 34-17, in the second half for the solid home victory that saw the squad move to 2-0 on the young season.
One constant throughout the victory was the Panthers' ability to get out in transition, with guards Drew Swedberg and Will Burke leading the charge. Big men Marcus Swedberg, Donahue and Nick Sindorf did a nice job on the fly as well, and the squad turned many defensively rebounds into points on the other end of the floor.
"I loved the transition," said MA coach Matt Swedberg. "I'm sure people think that since we're big, we can't run. But I'm liking where the guards are taking us this year and everyone else is getting involved. I'm hoping I can go deep into my bench and keep everyone fresh so we can continue to get out and run."
Donahue finished with a double-double for MA, as he scored 11 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in a hard-working effort in the paint. The senior has been a big help to the lineup after not playing a season ago.
"I love the team we have," said Marcus Swedberg. "Having Mike and Will back again is great. They both bring a lot to the lineup and everyone else is making plays when they're out there."
Drew Swedberg added five assists to go along with his 12 points, while Sindorf added six points for the Panthers.
"We've got a nice little rotation that I think has a little bit of everything when we're playing well," said coach Swedberg.
The Panthers, as they hope to do all year long, dominated on the glass, outrebounding Lisbon, 52-30, on the night.
"We were hoping they wouldn't be able to shoot everything from the outside so we went out to challenge their shots," said Marcus Swedberg. "And we were balanced enough to be able to rebound the ball and make them take tough shots."