Lincoln-Sudbury boys' basketball coach Patrick Callahan sees senior John Swords as the key to opening up his offense.
Against Boston-Latin Friday night, Swords became a large portion of the offense.
Dominating the low post for 18 points, Swords led the Warriors to a 68-39 home victory over the Wolfpack.
“When John is dominating it opens up the floor for everybody else,” said Callahan. “When you have a 7-footer that is an advantage and they are going to collapse on him. To make them collapse on him, he has to be effective.”
The Warriors (8-3, 5-3 Dual County League) took 3 1/2 minutes to score, but once they did they managed to pull ahead of the Wolfpack and lead for the last three quarters of the game. Up 13-7 after the first quarter, the Warriors outscored Boston Latin 13-4 in the first 5 1/2 minutes.
Three straight steals from senior Geoff Mishkin helped set up a basket for himself and four points from Swords, including a one-handed dunk.
“Geoff came out aggressive, played really good defense and really pushed the ball,” said Callahan. “He is also a really good shooter.”
Boston Latin (6-6, 4-5 DCL) finished the half with a last-minute 3-pointer, but were only able to bring the game within nine points. The Wolfpack would not score for the next four minutes.
“We really need to learn to play against a zone,” said Boston Latin coach Brad Smith. “Something that needs to be worked on is that the players do not share the ball well.”
Warriors senior point guard Denny Cakert opened the third quarter with an under-the-basket finger roll and a corner 3. L-S followed this up with four straight post-up baskets by Swords to put the Warriors ahead 41-22 at 3:20.
The lead would not be cut below 20 points again.
“I received some good passes, especially from my teammate Mario (Payne),” said Swords. “Even in the double team I was able to do a little more, which does not always happen.”
Going into the fourth quarter up 50-29, L-S junior Ben Lawhorn forced two points of a foul then hit senior teammate Ryan Swoyer for a breakaway layup. Another breakaway layup by Swoyer at 3:50 put the Warriors up 63-34 and allowed Callahan to remove his starters.
“Swoyer is a first-year senior and a football player who just brings a ton of energy,” said Callahan. “It does not matter when I put him in. He is ready to go and he was again tonight.”
Coming off the bench, sophomore Brian Carroll scored five points and had three steals in the final three minutes.
Swords led all scorers. Nine other players scored for the Warriors. Cakert and senior Mitch Perez scored 11 and eight points, respectively.
While nine different players scored for Boston Latin, none were in double digits.
“We started out flat, but our big guy dominated inside,” said Callahan. “They had to collapse on (Swords) which opened the floor for Mitch, Denny and everybody else.”