April Thieman scores 13 points, but Lady Pacers fall to Rising Sun

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The Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team ran into a fired-up Rising Sun Lady Shiner ball club last Friday night in Rising Sun, and after some back and forth play, the homestanding Lady Shiners hit some key freethrows down the stretch and pulled off the upset, 46-42.

“It was a matter of letting them stay too close too long,” Lady Pacer coach Wayne Ellegood said. “They had a really good night and played up to their capabilities. We let them hang around, and that can be dangerous.”

Switzerland County found itself in a dogfight from the very beginning, as Rising Sun rode three-pointers from Jaclyn Armbruster and solid play from Michele McDaniel to an early advantage; but Switzerland County struck back, getting seven points in the opening stanza from senior April Thieman and baskets from Courtney Cole and Morgan Ross to claim a 13-11 lead at the first break.

Fouls also mounted up on Switzerland County, as the second period saw both teams falter offensively. The fouls meant that the Lady Pacer bench had to step up, and it did.

“I really thought Shana Todd did a pretty good job for us while she was playing,” Coach Ellegood said. “She gave us some good minutes.”

The second period saw both teams only score four points, as Switzerland County got buckets from Maggie Armstrong and Morgan Ross while Rising Sun countered with two baskets by Kayla Ferreira.

That left Switzerland County still in the lead as the teams went to halftime, 17-15.

The third quarter was back-and-forth, as a Kayla Ferreira freethrow brought Rising Sun to within a point before Morgan Ross scored inside. Michele McDaniel’s basket again narrowed the gap to one; but Switzerland County ran off a string of four straight on a bucket by April Thieman and two freethrows by Morgan Ross.

Rising Sun didn’t falter, as Jaclyn Armbruster drilled another three-pointer and Kayla Ferreira scored in the lane – and with 3:50 to play in the third quarter, the game was tied at 23-23.

Megan McCarty hit a freethrow to move the Lady Pacers back in front; but a Courtney Weaver bucket at the 3:15 mark brought the Rising Sun crowd to its feet and fueled the Lady Shiner hopes.

Switzerland County quickly doused those hopes, however, as the Lady Pacers got two baskets from Megan McCarty and a buckets by April Thieman and Courtney Cole to move out to a 32-25 lead with less than a minute to play.

A Kayla Ferreira basket in the closing seconds allowed Rising Sun to move back to a 32-27 deficit with just one period to play.

The Lady Shiners made a run to open the final quarter, getting four straight points from Kayla Ferreira to climb to within one.

Tanya Sefton scored for Switzerland County to stem the tide; but Kayla Ferreira made two more freethrows to slice the gap back to one.

Switzerland County looked like it was going to get its offensive legs underneath itself moments later, getting buckets from April Thieman and Courtney Cole to push the lead to five.

Just when Lady Pacer fans were taking a breath, Jaclyn Armbruster nailed another three-pointer – and Rising Sun was back to within two.

Both teams exchanged freethrows, and a key play in the game came at the 1:05 mark; when Rising Sun’s Tiffany Siekman missed both freethrow attempts. As the second caromed away, Kayla Ferreira grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled on the play.

She then made both freethrow attempts, and with a minute to play, the game was tied again, 39-39.

Lady Pacer Morgan Ross was then whistled for an offensive foul as Switzerland County was trying to inbound the ball following a timeout, and Brenna Keith made one of the freethrow attempts to push Rising Sun back out in front. Brenna Keith then scored inside to make the lead three points, and Switzerland County suddenly found itself scrambling to retake the lead.

Rising Sun kept up the pressure, getting a freethrow from Kayla Ferreira and another from Jaclyn Armbruster to make the score 44-39 with 10-seconds to play.

Lady Pacer Amber Smith then drilled a three-pointer to close the gap to two points; but the game was put out of reach when Rising Sun’s Kayla Ferreira made two freethrows to make the final score 46-42.

“I think we’ll be fine,” the Pacer coach said of the loss. “In these first three games we’ve fouled way too much and gotten beat at freethrow line. Teams have made twice as many freethrows as we have.”

April Thieman had an outstanding game for Switzerland County, finishing with 13 points; and Courtney Cole finished with eight points. Morgan Ross had seven points on the night; and Megan McCarty chipped in five.

Amber Smith had three points; and Tanya Sefton and Maggie Armstrong each finished with two.

Switzerland County returns to action this Tuesday, when the Lady Pacers play their first home game and entertain Milan.

“It will probably be another pretty close game,” Coach Ellegood said. “They’ve got most of their kids back from last year, so it should be a good game.”

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In the junior varsity contest, Switzerland County defeated Rising Sun by a score of 47-23.

Lauren Chase led the Lady Pacers with 14 points; while Kristen Perry and Lindsay Scott each finished with eight. Carrie Truax had seven points; Katie Rayls had six; and Jenna Daugherty contributed two points. Halie Smith and Shana Gaylord each finished with one point.