Austin Clark leads Pacers to big win

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Austin Clark continued his tear through Southeastern Indiana on Friday night, scoring 22 points to lead Switzerland County to a 69-43 victory over New Washington.

Switzerland County worked to control the game all night, but had to withstand some long range shooting from the Mustangs and take control in the fourth quarter to claim the win.

New Washington only made eight two point field goals in the game, but the Mustangs also made eight three-pointers to keep things interesting. Most of that damage was done by Logan Miles, who had five three-pointers on his way to 15 points on the night.

But, with all of the long range success that New Washington had, the Mustangs had no answer inside for Austin Clark; and when they tried to pack the defense inside, Switzerland County got some key outside play from Ben Curran.

The Pacers opened up a quick 15-5 lead on the strength of baskets from Ben Curran and T.J. White; a three-pointer by Riley Phagan; and a basket by Nathan Hunter.

Austin Clark then took over, converting a three-point play and then moving outside for a three-pointer. Then after missing a three-pointer, the senior center followed his shot and converted the put back gave him eight points in a row.

Holding a 10-point lead, Switzerland County couldn’t shake New Washington, as Logan Miles made two straight three-pointers to quickly close the gap. Chase Ritch stopped that run with a short range jumper to push the lead back to eight; but a three-pointer by Mustang Devin Herron made the score 19-14 in favor of Switzerland County at the end of the quarter.

New Washington went right back to its long range work as the second quarter opened, with Logan Miles connecting on another three-pointer that closed the lead to two.

Switzerland County made another run, getting baskets by Austin Clark, Tyler Gabbard, and Ben Curran to again get some breathing space. After the teams traded some baskets, a three-pointer by Riley Phagan closed the half with the Pacers holding a 30-22 advantage.

In the third quarter, Switzerland County began to pull away as New Washington’s outside shooting cooled a bit, and the Pacer defense began to dictate the game.

Austin Clark followed a three-point play with a steal and a dunk; and Riley Phagan followed that with his third three-point field goal of the night.

New Washington closed the gap with another three-pointer from Logan Miles and a basket from James Clemons; but Chase Ritch served notice that he was also a pretty good outside shooter with two long three-pointers to finish off the quarter with the Pacers holding a 44-31 lead.

The final quarter was a big one offensively for Switzerland County, as the Pacers outscored the Mustangs 25-12 to seal the win.

That all started with a run of eight straight points to kick off the period on baskets by Chase Ritch, T.J. White, and a pair of jumpers from Ben Curran.

After Andrew House stopped that run with, what else, a three-pointer for New Washington; Austin Clark had a three-point play and another basket and Ben Curran scored again in the lane twice to keep command.

The Pacers then finished off the game with some offense from its bench, as Kollin Hayes scored with a runner in the lane; and Caleb Furnish and Zach Whitaker both had three-pointers.

That closed the scoring, and Switzerland County finished off the game with a 26-point win, 69-43.

Austin Clark’s 22 led the Pacers; while Ben Curran had 12 points and Chase Ritch had 10.

Riley Phagan’s three three-pointers gave him nine points on the night; while T.J. White had four points; Caleb Furnish and Zach Whitaker had three points each; and Tyler Gabbard, Nathan Hunter, and Kollin Hayes each chipped in two points.

Switzerland County matched New Washington’s total of eight three-pointers, but the difference came inside the arch, where the Pacers had 21 two point field goals. Neither team got to the freethrow line much, as each converted three of five attempts.

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In the junior varsity game, Switzerland County lost to New Washington by a score of 48-37.

Hunter Hayes led the Pacers with 10 points; while Caleb Furnish was right behind with nine points. Justin Green had seven points; Kollin Hayes and Zach Whitaker each had four points; Brody Splain had two points; and Dakota Fuller contributed one point.