Big second half lifts New Albany to win

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The Switzerland County Lady Pacers welcomed Class 4A New Albany to Vevay on Tuesday night, and after controlling the first half and handling the Lady Bulldog press, Switzerland County lost its intensity in the second half, falling by a final score of 86-61.

The New Albany win was highlighted by a second half during which they outscored Switzerland County 52-25 – with 28 of those points coming in the third quarter alone.

The game was a tight, up and down track meet the entire night, with both teams using pressure defense to force turnovers and then convert them to easy buckets.

After New Albany jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, Switzerland County countered with a run of seven straight points behind two baskets by Megan McCarty, a bucket from Courtney Cole, and a freethrow by Amber Smith.

New Albany countered with a basket by Taylor Fountain, but Amber Smith answered those points; and April Thieman hit a short jumper to keep the Lady Pacers in front.

After Taylor Fountain converted a traditional three-point play for New Albany, Switzerland County went on a run of six straight points, with baskets supplied by April Thieman, Shana Todd, and Amber Smith.

That run put the Lady Pacers up 17-10 with the clock winding down, but a three-pointer by freshman Kayton Cole at the buzzer made the first quarter score 17-13 in favor of Switzerland County.

The second quarter started as the first one ended, with Kayton Cole draining a three-pointer to draw New Albany to within one.

Shana Todd, providing a huge spark off of coach Wayne Ellegood’s bench, then scored on a great pass from Tanya Sefton; and Tanya Sefton followed that seconds later with a steal and layup of her own to increase the lead to 21-16.

Both teams then traded baskets, with Switzerland County getting offense from Courtney Cole, April Thieman, Shana Todd, and Maggie Armstrong.

New Albany matched every Lady Pacer bucket, however, and with 2:54 to play in the half Switzerland County held a 33-26 lead on the strength of two Megan McCarty freethrows.

New Albany then got hot, reeling off six straight points to get within one; but Courtney Cole sliced through the lane in the half’s closing seconds to push the lead back to three.

There was too much time, however, as New Albany raced upcourt and got a basket by Taylor Fountain to send both teams to the lockerroom with Switzerland County clinging to a 35-34 lead.

The third quarter saw the Lady Pacer struggle offensively, as a basket in the lane by Courtney Cole was the only dent that Switzerland County made in the first four minutes of the quarter.

New Albany seized the opportunity, going on a 13-2 run to push the lead to 10. Two freethrows by Courtney Cole halted the bleeding temporarily, but New Albany then scored seven straight points to expand the lead to 15.

Courtney Cole score twice more in the quarter – she was the only Lady Pacer to score in the third period; but New Albany ran off 28 points in the stanza to hold a commanding 62-43 lead with a period to play.

Switzerland County didn’t give up, starting the final quarter with two freethrows by April Thieman and a basket by Kristen Perry.

After New Albany scored inside, the Lady Pacers got a pair of freethrows from Courtney Cole and a jumper from Amber Smith to climb to within 13, 64-51, with 5:24 to play.

New Albany countered again, scoring the games next six points; and after Amber Smith made two freethrows, the Lady Bulldogs got a three-pointer from Kayton Cole to swell the lead to 20.

Switzerland County kept battling, getting points from Courtney Cole, Amber Smith and April Thieman, but the Lady Pacers could never mount a prolonged offensive run, and the final score saw New Albany with the win, 86-61.

Courtney Cole led the Lady Pacers with 22 points on the night; while Amber Smith had 11 points and April Thieman was also in double figures, finishing with 10.

Shana Todd and Megan McCarty each finished with six points; while Tanya Sefton, Maggie Armstrong, and Kristen Perry each contributed two.

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The junior varsity team also suffered a hard setback, falling to New Albany by a final score of 38-33.

Jenna Daugherty and Lindsay Scott led Switzerland County, each finishing with seven points; and Kristen Perry contributed six.

Katie Rayls and Carrie Truax each had four points; Casey Sharp added three points; while Hailee Smith and Chelsea Peters each had one.