Ashley Chase’s 23 points and 18 rebounds push Lady Pacers into Sectional semifinals

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The Switzerland County Lady Pacers took another step along the IHSAA basketball tournament trail Tuesday night when they opened the Lawrenceburg Sectional with a convincing 69-43 victory over the Milan Lady Indians.

Switzerland County will now continue on to play the South Ripley Lady Raiders in tomorrow (Friday) night’s opening game at 6 p.m. South Ripley earned its trip to the semifinals by defeating Lawrenceburg in Tuesday night’s second game.

Friday night’s second game will feature Southwestern and North Decatur; and the two winners on Friday with square off for the Sectional title on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

The Lady Pacers started out with April Thieman scoring first in the game; and when Kodi Driver followed with a basket, Switzerland County held a quick 4-0 advantage.

Lady Indian Kady Alloway responded with a three-point shot, and that sliced the Switzerland County lead down to 4-3.

Kodi Driver then added a nice four-point play, as she connected on a three-point shot and was fouled; and then buried the extra point at the line. Ashley Chase also added a three-point shot; and the Indians would add two baskets and chip in two at the line to stay within striking distance early, down just 11-9.

The remainder of the opening quarter was painted blue and orange, as Courtney Cole added a basket with two minutes left and Ashley Bright was sent to the line and connected on both of her attempts. Ashley Chase then finished the first quarter by scoring a basket in the closing seconds, and the period ended with Switzerland County out in front by a score of 17-9.

Natalie Daugherty opened the second quarter scoring; and the Lady Indians only senior — Megan Lade — hit a three-point that cut the Lady Pacers lead down to 19-12.

The Lady Pacers then flexed their defensive muscle, holding the Lady Indians to just two points from the line and one more basket in the remainder of the second quarter.

Meanwhile, Lady Pacer Courtney Cole caught fire offensively, adding two freethrows and two baskets to the Switzerland County totals. Ashley Chase and Natalie Daugherty also added baskets before the Lady Pacers would head to the locker room leading by a score of 29-16.

Coming back from the locker room to begin the second half, the Lady Pacers were once again in complete control of both ends of the floor, holding Milan scoreless from the floor in the third quarter. The only points that the Lady Indians would add in the third stanza were three points from the foul line.

Ashley Chase and Ashley Bright took turns scoring during the third quarter and Courtney Cole connected on a basket as the Lady Pacers ballooned the lead in the third quarter to 30-points, 49-19.

The Milan Indians started the last quarter of the night — and their last quarter of the season — by hitting a three-point shot; and Milan players would contribute several more in the final quarter but it was not enough to catch up with the Lady Pacers. The Lady Pacers continued scoring with Ashley Bright, April Thieman, Ashley Chase and Kodi Driver all contributing points in the first three minutes of the period.

Courtney Cole was fouled half way through the quarter and chipped in two at the line; and Ashley Chase added another basket. Kodi Driver connected another three-point shot with two minutes left in the game; and Amber Smith chipped one in at the line and added a basket. The quarter ended with a lay up from Tanya Sefton to end the game 69-43.

The leading scorer for the Lady Pacers was Ashley Chase with 23 points. She also had 18 rebounds (one short of the school record of 19 held by Janna Stultz); four assists; four blocked shots; and two steals.

Three other Lady Pacers scored in double figures. Courtney Cole had 12 points, four rebounds, and two assists; and Kodi Driver finished with 11 points — including two three-pointers, four assists, and two steals. Ashley Bright added 10 points and four assists.

Natalie Daugherty had four points, six rebounds, and three steals; April Thieman added four points; Amber Smith chipped in three points; and Tanya Sefton finished with two points.

As a team, the Lady Pacers had a tremendous night shooting; going 26-for-53 from the floor for the game (49.1 percent); and 13-for-15 from the freethrow line for the game (86.7 percent).