A furious fourth quarter pushed the Switzerland County Lady Pacers into overtime on Friday night in the semifinal of the South Ripley Sectional, and the offensive streak continued in the extra time, and the Lady Pacers moved on to the Sectional title game with a 40-35 victory over Southwestern.
The opening quarter was a slow one, as the Lady Pacers accounted for just six points on a field goal and two freethrows from Nora Hankins and two freethrows by Keirstan Oeffinger; but the Switzerland County defense was also working hard, as the Lady Rebels were held to just a single point — a freethrow by Ellie Foley — and that gave Switzerland County a five point lead after one.
Southwestern got its offense going in the second, scoring 12 points; while Switzerland County continued to try and find its footing offensively, scoring five points in the second to fall behind 13-11 at the half.
In the second, Oeffinger hit a three-pointer; and a basket from Jessie Duvall accounted for the other scoring.
The Lady Rebels got seven points from Trinity McLain in the second; while Ashton Goode had three and Foley added another two.
Things began to get tense as the teams opened the third quarter, as again Southwestern outscored Switzerland County by a 12-5 margin to grab a 25-16 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.
The Lady Pacers managed to make just two shot attempts in the third period — a three-pointer by Maddie Duvall and a field goal by Oeffinger.
With their season hanging in the balance, the Lady Pacers came out roaring in the fourth period, and the offense really took off.
Switzerland County would score 18 points in the eight-minute span — seven of those at the freethrow line — and the Lady Pacers erased the nine-point deficit to send the game into overtime.
Jessie Duvall took control in the fourth, scoring 11 points on her own on two field goals, four freethrows, and a three-pointer.
Halle Archer came up big in the fourth, as the freshman scored two buckets in clutch minutes; while Oeffinger had two freethrows and Maddie Duvall contributed a freethrow.
Switzerland County also had a big defensive stand at the end of the game, as the Lady Rebels had possession and attempted an in-bounds play with 15-seconds left and the game tied — but the Lady Pacers didn’t allow the pass in, and the turnover sealed the game going into overtime.
In the extra four minute period, Jessie Duvall continued to control the game, going 3-for-4 in key freethrow attempts; while Archer had another bucket and Jayden Thomas converted a freethrow to account for the six overtime points.
Southwestern would score only one point in the overtime, a freethrow by Foley; and Switzerland County advanced by a final score of 40-35.
Jessie Duvall was the leading scorer for Switzerland County, finishing with 16 points, and she also added four rebounds.
Oeffinger had nine points, five steals, two rebounds and an assist in an all around outstanding effort; and Archer had six points, six rebounds, and two steals.
Hankins finished with four points, four rebounds and a steal; and Thomas had one point, three rebounds, and two assists.
Foley had 13 to lead Southwestern; while McLain was also in double figures with 12.