The Switzerland County girls varsity basketball team got its season off to a solid start on Tuesday night with a 46-36 win over South Dearborn.
Junior Aleiah Thomas led the way for the Lady Pacers, scoring 23 points in the contest, as Switzerland County pulled away early and never looked back.
Switzerland County kicked off the game with a 12-6 advantage in the first quarter behind a pair of three-pointers by Thomas, two baskets by Jaden Harrell, and a bucket from Maddie Duvall. South Dearborn got baskets in the opening stanza from Bryanna LaGreca, Kyrstin Bond, and Elsa Meek.
The second quarter was evenly played, as each team scored nine points over the eight minute span. The second was all Thomas for Switzerland County, as she accounted for all nine points on three field goals and her third three-pointer of the game. Bond stayed hot for South Dearborn, hitting a three-pointer on her way to five second quarter points.
The teams went to halftime with Switzerland County in front by a score of 21-15.
The Lady Knights came out of the halftime break with a hot shooting touch, outscoring Switzerland County 14-9 to close to within a point, 30-29 after three quarters.
The Lady Pacers saw balanced scoring in the stanza, with Josie Meyer hitting a three-pointer while Keirstan Oeffinger, Thomas, and Harrell each contributed a basket.
Bond did the damage in the period for South Dearborn, accounting for nine points.
With eight minutes left to play, Switzerland County sealed the win by outscoring their guests by a 16-7 margin.
Much of that margin was amassed at the freethrow line, as Switzerland County was 7-for-10 at the charity stripe in the final period, with Thomas going 4-for-6; Jessie Duvall going 2-for-2; and Rylee Hankins going 1-for-2.
Jessie Duvall also connected on a three-pointer in the quarter; while Hankins added two buckets inside and Thomas connected on a field goal..
Final score: Switzerland County 46, South Dearborn 36.
In addition to Thomas’ 23 points, the junior also contributed seven rebounds, three steals, and two assists.
Freshman Harrell finished her first varsity game with six points and a pair of rebounds; while freshman Jessie Duvall had five points, five assists, eight rebounds and a steal.
Senior Hankins, working her way back from a knee injury that cost her her entire junior season, again was a force in the middle, scoring five points while pulling down nine rebounds. She also had two assists and a steal.
Meyer had three points and four rebounds; Oeffinger had two points, two rebounds, a steal and an assist; and Maddie Duvall had two points, a rebound, four steals and an assist.
Bond led South Dearborn with 18 points.
Off to a 1-0 start, Switzerland County next hosts Madison tomorrow (Friday) night for a home game beginning at 6 p.m.; and then hits the road to travel to Henryville on Saturday, with another 6 p.m. tip.
Due to injuries, there was no junior varsity game on Tuesday night.