It was a game that was supposed to highlight this year’s Switzerland County Homecoming; but even though Homecoming has been moved and the game was played Tuesday night, the Pacers’ conference victory over Rising Sun could prove to be a watershed moment in the development of Coach David Todd’s team.
Having been beaten by the Shiners earlier in the year, Switzerland County came out on Tuesday night and played toe to toe with the high-powered Rising Sun offense; keeping their composure and battling for the entire 32 minutes to claim their fourth victory in a row.
The win also keeps alive Switzerland County’s dreams of a conference championship, heading into tomorrow (Friday) night’s game at South Ripley.
Anytime Rising Sun and Switzerland County gets together, it promises to be an emotional and highly-charged battle — one in which you can throw out the records and simply watch and see what happens.
Switzerland County opened the contest with a basket by Mat Deaton, but Rising Sun sharpshooter Curtis Fogle answered that with a three-pointer. Not to be outdone, Chancey May found the range on a three-pointer for the Pacers; and Rising Sun responded with an inside move and bucket by Adam Fox.
Josh Reagan scored to push the Pacers out in front again; but Rising Sun got a basket by Curtis Fogle and a three-pointer from Jordan Knaus to move back out by three.
Buckets by Mat Deaton and B.J. Shelton pushed Switzerland County back in front; but Jesse McClure converted a three-point play to send the Shiners to a two-point lead. Ben Hickman scored inside to tie the game at 13-13; and Zach Shell made a freethrow to keep the see-saw battle going.
Cody Peters drilled a deep three-pointer that put the Pacers up by two.
Curtis Fogle matched that with a three-pointer giving the Shiners a one point advantage.
Mat Deaton scored to make the count 18-17 in favor of the Pacers.
Jordan Knaus hit a short jumper that eased the Shiners in front by a 19-18 score.
And that was just the first quarter.
The intensity didn’t subside as the second period got underway, with Curtis Fogle continuing to launch and connect on three-pointers. Josh Reagan made a three-pointer of his own to keep the Pacers close; but Rising Sun got baskets from Nathan Keith and Adam Fox to stretch their lead to five.
Josh Reagan hit from the baseline to narrow the gap to three; but Adam Fox again got free inside and converted. Another three-pointer from Curtis Fogle gave the Shiners a 31-23 lead with 4:42 to play.
Switzerland County raced back, getting another three-pointer from Cody Peters; but Jordan Knaus again scored in the lane to keep the lead at seven.
The Pacers then kicked into offensive gear again, getting baskets from Josh Snow, Chancey May, and B.J. Shelton to get within one; but Rising Sun responded with a freethrow from Jesse McClure and two charities from Curtis Fogle to maintain their cushion.
Baskets followed from Chancey May and Josh Reagan that tied the game with a minute to play; and Nathan Keith closed a wild first half with a drive to the basket that gave Rising Sun a 38-36 lead after two periods of play.
Switzerland County unleashed some long range bombers to begin the second half, getting three-pointers on two straight trips from Chancey May and Cody Peters — in the process grabbing a four-point lead.
Rising Sun countered with a run of seven straight points to jump back in front; but Switzerland County got six straight points on two baskets by Mat Deaton and a bucket by Chancey May. That forced Rising Sun coach Brian Graham to call a timeout with his troops down three; and coming out of the break Chancey May found the range on a three-pointer, and with two minutes to play the Pacers held a 51-45 lead.
Zach Shell broke the run with a basket for the Shiners; and the third quarter ended with Switzerland County holding a four-point lead.
Josh Snow has been arguably Coach Todd’s secret weapon during this run of four straight wins, and he came through again Tuesday night, opening the final period by scoring six straight points for Switzerland County to keep the Shiners at bay.
Baskets by Jesse McClure and Nathan Keith kept Rising Sun close; and when Curtis Fogle hit yet another three-pointer, the Shiners were back within four. Two freethrows followed by Jesse McClure, and with two minutes to play, the Pacer lead had shrunk to two.
Chancey May got free and connected; and Jesse McClure was able to make only one freethrow for Rising Sun before Josh Snow made his presence known again with a strong inside move that made the score 61-56 with 1:19 to play.
Scott Cummings converted a freethrow for the Shiners; but that was matched by a freethrow from B.J. Shelton; and Travis Webster followed that with two freethrows and a basket; providing the final margin of victory for Switzerland County, 66-57.
Chancey May led the assault with 17 points; while Josh Snow and Mat Deaton were also in double figures with 10 points each. Cody Peters made three three-pointers to finish with nine points; while B.J. Shelton added five; Travis Webster had four; and Ben Hickman had two.
Curtis Fogle led all scorers with 21 points; and Jordan Knaus was in double figures with 10.
In the junior varsity game, Rising Sun defeated Switzerland County in overtime by a final score of 52-50.
Josh Snow led the Pacers with 16 points; while Zach Getz finished with 11 and Cliff Meyer added five. Devon Ballard and Jordan Pavy had two points each.