The Tigers are who we thought they were, and Swartz Creek didn’t let them off the hook.
Swartz Creek played aggressive in Friday’s showdown with state-ranked Fenton, and it caused the Tigers to fold. The physical play started by covering veteran point guard Eric Mowery the length of the court with a rotation of athletic guards. It didn’t take long for Mowery to show the typical signs of fatigue with hands on the hips and shortly thereafter hands on the knees. But the physical play didn’t stop there.
Logan Hull played tough inside, countering the perimeter defense, by swatting shots and cleaning the boards, costing him three first half fouls. It was there that Fenton should have exploited Swartz Creek, by attacking the interior with the high percentage scoring of Charlie Herzog, but the Tigers instead chose to stick to their formula of running their offense through Dylan and Ryan Hickoff.
The Hickoffs showed some ability, but they shot the name off the ball Friday night. Whether it was going to the hole, or jacking a three, there wasn’t a shot the twins didn’t like and it may have cost them the game.
Swartz Creek’s Joey Seitz shot with similar frequency, but the 6-foot-2 senior made the most of it, draining big shot after big shot to give Swartz Creek an early lead it would not relinquish the rest of the night as Creek cruised to a double digit win.
Props have to be handed out to Seitz. Known primarily for his deep ball, Seitz showed a superb acumen with the ball, finding the open man and hitting technical shots off-balance and the off-the-dribble. Defensively, he pulled down a ton of boards for a guard. He had to be the statistical MVP.
Logan Hull wasn’t his usual dominant self, but he was still the best big on the court. Hull’s touch with the ball is special for a Metro big man and he’s got NAIA or Division III ball written all over him.
Sophomore Max Cummings may end up being the best Dragon by the end of the year. The 6-foot-0 guard is extremely poised with the rock and has a knack for getting off ridiculous shots going to the hole. He and this sophomore class are going to be really special for Coach Jeremy Trent.
Jordan Seath also did a great job offensively, but especially defensively on both Hickoffs. He locked up whoever he was assigned to guard throughout the game.
As for the Hickoffs, they are good, but I vehemently disagree with other sites that speak of them in the same terms as other Division I level juniors. Nice players, but they sometimes struggle to finish around the hoop and are erratic from three. Their best attributes are definitely going to the basket where they can draw fouls, and actually have a knack for hitting short range jumpers off the dribble. Defense is probably their greatest strength. At this stage, their brother Spencer was more advanced.
Mowery looked nice. He definitely had the toughest job all night with the pressure placed upon him, but didn’t really commit many turnovers and hit, I think, every shot he took. Just a solid point guard.
Herzog was way underutilized. He was a guy that SC would struggle defending, especially with Hull’s three fouls. Not sure why he wasn’t given more opportunities.
Trent’s gameplan dictated the game. He had some guys step up, but Trent is making a habit out of winning big games in-conference. He did it last year with front-runner Holly, and may repeat against this year’s favorite, Fenton.
— Gavin Raath | Great Lakes Hoops