The Swink High School boys' basketball team faced the top two teams in the Santa Fe League over the weekend, losing to both teams.

The Lions were defeated by top-ranked Holly 69-29 on the road on Friday. They then lost to fourth-ranked Fowler 74-21 Saturday at the Lions den.

"I felt like our league is always tough," said Swink coach Zach Miner. "Even the teams not in the top five can show up any night and play like a top-five team.

"We have some good rivalries, but we haven't been up to the task and I haven't been up to the task as a coach. I feel today I let us down a little bit in preapration. Maybe looking forward a little bit to games that may be more competitive for us and we were treating a lot of this game like practice for certain things. I put that one directoly on me. I liked the kids' effort and I thought it was great. The coaching just wasn't there today."

"I don't think they're ever easy and we talk about always respecting your opponent," said Fowler coach Mark Lowther. "We're playing really good defense right now and the offense seems to be clicking a lot more. It wasn't there early on, but if we can stay consistent with our defense and our offense will come alive, I think that we're peaking at the right time."

The Grizzlies got off to a fast start by scoring the first nine points of the game. Val Leone scored five of the first points.

Chase Roweth scored Swink's first points with a 3-point basket, but Drew Egan answered with a three of his own. Tyler Lewis's basket cut the deficit to 12-5, but Fowler answered with a 10-0 run with Zane Denton and Egan both draining threes.

Nathan Paolucci made a 3-pointer for Swink reducing the Fowler lead to 22-8. However, Hunter Mason made two free throws and Quinton Flanscha scored in the paint for a 26-8 Grizzly lead at the end of the first quarter.

Swink's Coleman Stanger scored the first points of the second quarter, but Egan scored for the Grizzlies. Roweth and Stanger both made baskets to cut the deficit to 28-14.

Fowler scored the last 17 points of the quarter to increase its lead to 45-14 at halftime. Leone had seven points in the run.

The Grizzlies opened the third quarter where they left off by scoring the first 11 points of the period giving them a 56-14 lead. All together, Fowler ran off 28 unasnwered points.

Cord Proctor ended the run, however Fowler's Gabriel Proctor buried a 3-pointer. Stanger scored a layup and a free throw to narrow Fowler's lead to 59-19 after the third quarter.

Fowler continued its dominance in the fourth quarter by outscoring Swink 15-2 in the period.

Stanger led Swink in scoring with seven points.

Fowler had three players score in double figures. Leone led the way with 19 points, followed by Egan with 15 and Proctor with 11.

Holly 69, Swink 29

Swink was able to stay within striking distance of the top-ranked Wildcats in the first quarter, but it trailed 16-11 at the end of the period. Holly exploded for 24 points in the second quarter and held Swink to three as the Wildcats took a 40-14 lead at halftime. Holly scored 21 more points on the third to increase its advantage to 61-22.

Paolucci led Swink with 10 points and Eli Suiters scored nine.

Brigden Proctor led all scorers with 22 points. Michael Rushton scored 17 and Austin Jensen scored 10.

Fowler 67, Rye 38

On Friday, Fowler traveld to Rye and came away with a 67-38 victory.

The Grizzlies led 22-2 after the first quarter, 45-16 at halftime and 61-31 after the third quarter.

Leone scored a career-high 31 points to lead Fowler. Proctor scored 13 and Flanscha added 10.

Kreed Rahl led Rye with 11 points.

This week

Swink (1-14, 1-10 Santa Fe League) will host Las Animas on Friday and travel to Sargent in the San Luis Valley on Saturday.

Friday's competition begins at 4 p.m. and Saturday's will be at 2 p.m.

"Las Animas is always a fun one," Miner said. "Me and Tyson (Vigil) have a good time with that game with a good little rivalry between us. That game is good for the kids. It's always a fun game, it's always a close game and the crowds are great. We really look forward to that one every year, especially the one here at home. Sargent is a lot tougher than we initially thought they would be. Also that trip across the mountains is going to be pretty long. So we'll show up and compete the best that we can."

Fowler (13-3, 9-1) will travel to Hoehne on Thursday and host Crowley County on Friday. Basketball begins at 4 p.m. both days.

"That will be a big weekend for us and it's always tough to go into Hoehne and play there," Lowther said.

Fowler 74, Swink 21

Fowler — Flanscha 3 0-0 8, Denton 4 0-0 8, Leone 8 1-1 19, Egan 6 0-0 15, Mobbley 3 0-0 6, Bitter 0 0-0 0, Mason 1 2-2 5, Proctor 3 3-4 11, Smith 1 0-1 2, J. Bates 0 0-1 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0, B. Baters 0 0-2 0. total 29 6-11 74.

3-point goals — Egan 3, Flanscha 2, Leone 2, Proctor 2, Mason 1.

Swink — Lewis 1 0-0 2, Carale 0 0-0 0, Ch. Roweth 2 0-0 5, Paolucci 1 0-0 3, Stanger 3 1-2 7, Zumwalt 0 0-0 0, Cl. Roweth 0 0-0 0, Proctor 1 0-0 2, Kersey 0 0-0 0, Holland 0 0-0 0, Suiters 1 0-0 2, Valencia 0 0-0 0. Total 9 1-2 21.

3-point goals — Paolucci 1, Ch. Roweth 1.

Fowler; 26; 19; 14;15 — 74

Swink; 8; 6; 5; 2; — 21

Fouls — Fowler 12, Swink 17.

khamrick@ljtdmail.com