Ben Hickman’s double-double not enough as Pacers fall


Junior Ben Hickman was nearly unstoppable last Thursday night in Switzerland County’s battle with Lawrenceburg, but in the end his 25-point, 12-rebound effort wasn’t enough to overcome the Tigers, who won in overtime by a final score of 63-62.

Switzerland County battled the Tigers all night long in front of an enthusiastic crowd in the Pacer gym, never giving up at any point in the contest. In fact, the Pacers led through much of the game, using a stingy defense and a hot Ben Hickman to keep Lawrenceburg off balance.

Lawrenceburg jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in the game, with Switzerland County only managing to get a bucket from center Mat Deaton in the opening three minutes of play. It was then that starting forward B.J. Shelton was saddled with his second foul early in the contest, forcing coach David Todd to take the junior out of the game and call on reserve Ben Hickman to chew up some minutes.

Boy, did he.

After Travis Webster and Cody Peters each made three-pointers to tie the game at 8-8; Ben Hickman became a one man wrecking crew, scoring the next 10-straight points for the Pacers, pushing the team to a 14-10 lead at the first break and an 18-10 advantage in the second period before Lawrenceburg found its footing.

A basket by Matt Richardson and a three-pointer by Danny Marqua got the Tigers back to within three; but Josh Reagan countered with a three-pointer to push the lead back to six. Ben Hickman then went back to work, scoring twice more inside as the Tigers simply could not find a way to stop him.

Matt Richardson was also having an outstanding night for Lawrenceburg, and his five straight points got the Tigers back within five before Pacer Josh Snow scored inside to stretch the lead back to seven with 1:32 to play in the half.

Lawrenceburg closed the half with six straight points on a three-point play by Andrew Stoneking and a three-pointer by Travis Thayer — and the first half came to a close with Switzerland County leading a 27-26 score.

Mat Deaton opened the second half with a basket; but when Matt Richardson connected on a three-pointer at the 5:49 mark, the teams found themselves tied at 29-29. Ben Hickman then made two freethrows to push the Pacers back in front; but four straight points from Matt Richardson gave Lawrenceburg its first lead since early in the game.

The Pacers responded with a run of seven straight points; including a three-pointer from Chancey May; a jumper from Josh Reagan; and a steal and layup by Chancey May.

Antonio Long responded with a three-pointer for the Tigers, and when Zack Yrttima followed that with a basket, suddenly both teams were tied again.

An offensive highlight hit Pacer fans with less than a minute to play in the period when Josh Reagan made a steal and hit a streaking B.J. Shelton — who found Cody Peters in stride for a layup. Cody Peters was fouled on the play, and the resulting freethrow gave the Pacers another three point lead.

As well as they were playing, Switzerland County simply couldn’t shake the Tigers, who responded with a basket by Zack Yrttima to close within one. B.J. Shelton then made a three-pointer that fired up Pacer fans, but a buzzer-beating basket by Matt Richardson sent the teams to the final quarter with Switzerland County holding a 44-42 lead.

Ben Hickman extended that to four with an inside move and bucket to open the quarter; but again Matt Richardson responded with a freethrow and a basket to draw the Tigers back to within one. Switzerland County then got two freethrows from Ben Hickman and a charity from Mat Deaton to reclaim the lead; and when Cody Peters found the range from three-point territory, with 4:55 to play the Pacers had opened up a 52-45 advantage.

Back came the Tigers, getting a three-pointer from Antonio Long, a basket by Andrew Stoneking, and a freethrow from Danny Marqua to draw back to within one with 2:21 to play.

B.J. Shelton then converted a freethrow to extend the lead back to two; but two Antonio Long freethrows tied the game at 53-53 with 1:34 to play.

Lawrenceburg then tried to escape with a victory in regulation, getting a three-pointer from Antonio Long and a freethrow from Danny Marqua to hold a four-point lead with just 54-seconds to play.

That’s when the Pacers went back to the hot hand.

Switzerland County poured the ball inside to Ben Hickman, and he responded with a bucket with 31-seconds left to draw within two. Travis Thayer was then called for travel with 19-seconds to play, giving the Pacers the ball back and allow them to go right back inside to their hot-shooting junior.

Ben Hickman responded again, scoring with just five seconds to go to tie the game at 57-57 and send the contest to an overtime period.

Ben Hickman then opened the overtime period with a freethrow to give the Pacers the lead; but Matt Richardson scored for Lawrenceburg to reclaim the advantage. A freethrow by Cody Peters tied the game again with two minutes to play.

Switzerland County then faltered, allowing a basket by Andrew Stoneking and a freethrow by Matt Richardson to fall behind by three. As hard as they played all night, Switzerland County just couldn’t get the shots to fall when they needed them to. A freethrow by Travis Thayer gave Lawrenceburg a four-point lead with nine seconds to play; and T.J. Sefton’s three-pointer at the buzzer wasn’t enough as Switzerland County fell in a heartbreaker, 63-62.

Along with Ben Hickman’s 25 points; the Pacers saw Cody Peters in double figures with 11. Chancey May, Josh Reagan, and Mat Deaton all finished with five points each; and B.J. Shelton added four. T.J. Sefton and Travis Webster each finished with three points; and Josh Snow contributed two.

Matt Richardson led Lawrenceburg with 22 points; while Antonio Long added 16 and Andrew Stoneking had 10.

Switzerland County wraps up its home season in a big way this weekend, hosting conference leading Jac-Cen-Del tomorrow (Friday) night and then taking on Southwestern of Shelby County on Saturday night. Friday night is Homecoming; while Saturday is Senior Night.


In junior varsity action, Switzerland County defeated Lawrenceburg by a final score of 37-32.

Josh Snow led the Pacers with 12 points; followed by T. J. Sefton with eight. Jordan Pavy had seven; Aaron Moore contributed six; Bryan Levell had two; and Zach Getz chipped in one.