The Switzerland County Pacer boys varsity basketball team advanced to the championship game of the Rivertown Classic tournament this past weekend at South Dearborn; but after a strong start, the Pacers couldn’t overcome a frigid second quarter, and fell to champion Lawrenceburg by a score of 58-44.
Switzerland County got off to a quick start behind the long range shooting of Dakota Fuller and Kollin Hayes; and the Pacers looked to make it a balanced, inside-outside attack by pouring the ball down low to Justin Green and Hunter Hayes. That plan, coupled with strong defensive play, allowed the Pacers to hold a 10-8 lead after the first quarter.
Fuller and Kollin Hayes both had three-pointers in the quarter; while Hunter Hayes and Green each had two points on inside buckets.
The Tigers were also getting hot from the outside, with Curtis White and Evan Pennington each hitting three-pointers while Drew Wilson had a field goal.
The second quarter was a critical one in the game, as Lawrenceburg scored five straight to open the period, moving out to a 13-10 lead; and the Pacers would manage just four points over the eight minute span, as Green and Kyle Whitham had field goals.
Lawrenceburg had 10 points in the quarter, led by five points from A.J. Mueller; three points from White; and a couple of freethrows by Grant Bradley.
At the halftime break, the Tigers held an 18-14 advantage.
The third quarter saw the offensive pace heat up, with both squads scoring 17 points in the stanza.
Switzerland County had its run despite big men Hunter Hayes and Green saddled with foul trouble and riding the bench alongside head coach Adam Dennis; but when Green was in the game, he was unstoppable inside in the third, scoring seven points; while Kollin Hayes had five more on a field goal and a three-pointer; and Austin South also had a three-pointer. Hunter Hayes also had an inside basket.
White went off offensively for the Tigers in the third, as the junior guard scored 15 of Lawrenceburg’s 17 points in the period, as he worked both outside and inside, causing headaches for the Switzerland County defense.
A big pick-me-up for the Pacers came as the third quarter closed, when Kollin Hayes’ halfcourt buzzer beater found the range; sending the Pacer faithful to their feet and sending both teams to the benches with the Tigers holding a 35-31 lead.
Lawrenceburg salted the game away in the final period, as the Tigers would score 23 points – 11 of those on 13 attempts from the freethrow line. Pennington had five points in the quarter; Jordan Houze had six, all on freethrows; Mueller had five; Wilson had four; and White chipped in three.
Switzerland County had 13 points in the period, but fell behind by double figures on a couple of occasions before battling back to get close; but the Pacers couldn’t get over the hump, falling by 14 as the final horn sounded, 58-44.
In that final period, Fuller led the way with five points on a three-pointer and a pair of freethrows; while Kollin Hayes had four points; Whitham had two; and Green and Casper Stow each contributed a freethrow.
Overall, Kollin Hayes and Green led the way with 12 points each; while Fuller finished with eight and Whitham and Hunter Hayes had four points each. South had three points; and Stow chipped in one.
For the Tigers, tournament MVP White led the way with 24 points; while Mueller had 10; Pennington and Houze each had eight; Wilson had six and Bradley had two.
For their efforts, Kollin Hayes and Justin Green were both honored with inclusion on the All Tournament team.