A cold shooting second quarter and battling some mismatches inside resulted in a 68-50 loss on Friday night for the Switzerland County Lady Pacers at the hands of the Madison Lady Cubs.
Madison had a distinct height advantage inside, led by senior Jade Nutley (daughter of former Switzerland County Lady Pacer Lynn Bovard Nutley), and early on the Lady Pacers looked for a way to counter that advantage.
After Jessie Duvall opened the game with a basket for the Lady Pacers, Madison ran off a string of eight straight points. Settling themselves, Switzerland County countered with a run of five straight on two freethrows by Aleiah Thomas and a traditional three-point play by Thomas to dice the lead down to one. After Paige Young scored for Madison, a three-pointer by Josie Meyer knotted the game at 10-10.
Madison then went on a run of five straight points; and after Thomas made two more freethrows, the quarter ended with Madison’s Daesja Jay hitting a layup to make the score 17-12.
Down five, the Lady Pacers quickly cut into the Lady Cub lead, as Meyer hit a jumper — but that bucket marked the start of a cold shooting spell that Coach Mark Boggs’ troops never recovered from. It would be the only field goal that Switzerland County would make in the quarter.
Madison went on a run of 11 straight points to double the score at 28-14, and after Jaden Harrell broke that run with a pair of freethrows at the 4:06 mark, Nutley came right back with a basket inside. Switzerland County then got two more freethrows from Harrell and a pair from Thomas; but when Nutley got free inside at the horn for a buzzer-beater, the half ended with Madison in front by 12, 32-20.
The third quarter saw Switzerland County attempt to get its offensive legs, but Madison got rolling early and didn’t look back. The Lady Cubs opened the third with a run of 10 points to extend their lead to 22; meanwhile Switzerland County didn’t dent the scoreboard in the third until Thomas hit a three-pointer at the 4:36 mark. Nutley scored again to stop any hope of a Lady Pacer run; and things got worse at the 3:44 mark when Lady Pacer guard Maddie Duvall was forced to sit with four personal fouls.
Back and forth the period went, with Switzerland County being forced to the freethrow line rather than getting clean looks on shots. The Lady Pacers responded to the challenge, reeling off eight straight freethrows at one point; but that didn’t allow the Lady Pacers to get into any type of offensive rhythm, unable to string together runs of points.
A three-pointer by Meyer at the buzzer cut the Madison lead down to 16 —50-34 — with a quarter to go, but Switzerland County was in a deep hole.
Meyer opened the final stanza with a basket that narrowed the game to a 14 point deficit; and after Jessie Dyer made two freethrows for the Lady Cubs, Switzerland County got a basket from Jessie Duvall and a three-pointer from Meyer — and suddenly the lead had shrunk to just 11.
Madison countered with a run of four straight; but Kyah Chase stopped that with a bucket; and after Madison scored three more, a basket by Thomas with 2:32 to go kept the Lady Pacers within striking distance. Madison got four more on a basket and two freethrows by Taylor Lynch; and with 1:32 to go, Meyer hit her fourth trey of the game, but that only managed to get the deficit down to 15. A basket by Madison’s Lundun Perry and a freethrow each from Chase and Hannah Hayes closed the scoring, and the Lady Pacers had suffered their first loss of the young seaosn, 68-50.
Thomas led all scorers with 20 points, and she also had five rebounds and an assist. Meyer rode her hot shooting to 16 points in the contest, and had two rebounds and a pair of steals.
Chase finished with five points and four boards; Jessie Duvall had four points, five rebounds, and four assists; and Harrell had four points two rebounds and two assists. Hayes added the other point.
The Lady Cubs were led by Nutley with 19 points and 13 rebounds; while Young was also in double figures with 11 points; and Dyer added 10.
First half shooting told the story, as Switzerland County was 4-for-17 for 23.5-percent; while Madison was 15-for-26 from the floor for 57.7-percent.
In the junior varsity game, Madison defeated Switzerland County by a score of 48-19.
Chloey Thomas led Switzerland County with six points; Jayden Thomas had five points; Nora Hankins had four points; and Dakota Richards and Hannah Hayes each had two points.