Saturday, January 28, 2023

Swartz sets school record with eight 3s in win over Riverside

BAINBRIDGE—Kenston junior Michael Swartz got hot early in Kenston’s 87-51 win over visiting Riverside on Wednesday and never cooled off.

The 5-11 guard went on to score a game-high 34 points and broke the school record with eight 3-pointers in a single contest.

“I felt it coming into warm-ups and that transitioned into the game and once I hit my first three I knew it was over,” Swartz said. “It's an awesome feeling. I want to be recognized as one of the players on this team too and that certainly helps me do it.”

Swartz scored 11 points in the first quarter as the Bombers built an early double-digit lead.

He opened the third with back-to-back threes and added two more in the fourth quarter to break the record set by Pierce Cumpstone, a 2012 Kenston graduate.

“Michael got really hot and was hitting shots but I thought everyone got wide open shots,” said Kenston coach Matt Vespa. “We didn't go out of the flow of anything to get him those shots. He's a kid that's definitely capable of doing that. He had five in a game last year and was looking to break the record. It was nice that he was able to do that tonight. We just talked on Saturday and I told him to just play with that confidence we know you're capable of and he clearly did tonight.”

The Bombers, who improved to 12-9 overall and 7-7 in the Western Reserve Conference, built a 52-29 halftime lead and never looked back.


Vespa hoped to see a fast-paced tempo and the Bombers delivered.

“We've really worked in the last couple days of practice in picking up our intensity,” Vespa said. “We told guys they're going to play in two-minute spurts so there's no reason to save anything energy-wise. We're trying to kind of speed up our style a little bit. We were in a little bit of a cold streak and lost a bunch of close games so we had to change something. That’s what we tried to do.”

Ryan Kooser contributed to the win with 12 points, Kee-Shaun Merrill scored 11 and Josh Kain finished with nine. Tyran Smith pitched in with six points while Elijah Singleton, Ben Batista and Bradley Randorf all finished with four. D.J. DeJarnette contributed with three points for Kenston.

“I thought everybody did a really good job,” Vespa said. “Kooser played well as he always does ad Josh played well. It's nice when we don't have to talk about one or two guys. Teams were here to scout us tonight and I told my guys I don't know what I would go back and tell me team who the guys are we have to try and stop. This was the best team performance we've had all year but we're going to need to be even better to go to Senior Night at St. Ignatius.”

Kenston closes out the regular season at St. Ignatius on Friday.

Kenston 87, Riverside 50

Kenston (12-9): Kooser 12 , Swartz 34 , Singleton 4 , DeJarnette 3 , Smith 6 , Merrill 11 , Kain 9 , Batista 4 , Rancorf 4

Riverside (13-9): DiFranco 1 , Scully 1 , Campbell 10 , Keller 11 , Sleek 4 , Horn 10 , Kalb, Abdussatar 2, Claudio 3, Fenyes 4

Riverside 14 15 12 9 — 50
Kenston 27 25 19 17 — 87

Free throws: Kenston 4 of 9, Riverside 21 of 29; 3-pointers: Kenston 13 (Kooser 2, Swartz 8, DeJarnette, Merrill 2), Riverside x (Cambell, Claudio, Fenyes); JV: Kenston 54-46



Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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