Jennifer Swanstrom wants to be the starting point guard next year.
You could say her candidacy for the position is timely.
Through most of the season, Post Falls High coach Chris Johnson rotated three players at point guard.
So it wasn’t a brilliant coaching move that allowed Swanstrom to start in the Trojans’ most important game of the season last Saturday.
It was by necessity. The other two guards were injured. Enter Swanstrom.
And enter the game of her life. The result: The biggest upset of the year as Post Falls knocked off talented Lewiston 41-30 in a loser-out A-1 Region I Tournament game at Lewiston.
The victory guaranteed Post Falls no worse than a playoff for a state berth.
Swanstrom scored a season-high 16 points, collected eight steals and three assists. She played all 32 minutes.
“I just knew I had to step it up,” Swanstrom said. “We had it in all of us. We just had to work together. It could have been the last game of the year. But the whole team played together.”
Still, Swanstrom was on a personal mission, too.
“I just wanted to show (Johnson) that I could do it,” Swanstrom said.
Swanstrom’s late-season soar was shot down Tuesday in the regional championship game against Lake City. One minute and 9 seconds into the contest, Swanstrom suffered a severely sprained right ankle.
“I heard it pop,” she said afterward, already wearing a supportive brace after watching the game with the ankle wrapped in ice.
Swanstrom knew the task of beating Lewiston was difficult. A week to the day of Post Falls’ upset, the Trojans were spanked 65-33 at Lewiston.
“There’s always a part of you that says ‘They’re so good, it’s going to be hard,”’ she said.
Johnson is thrilled Swanstrom has developed into the player he expected.
“What’s been her biggest improvement this year is she’s starting to understand the game better,” Johnson said. “She’s always been extremely athletic. She’s had some great moments, but against Lewiston she had 32 minutes of consistency.”
Swanstrom may be the top candidate for point guard next year, but she’s looking no further than Saturday as a win then would send the Trojans to state.
“We’ve played the top two teams in the state seven times, so it doesn’t matter who we play Saturday,” Swanstrom said. “We feel we can win that game.”
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
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