Cold start dooms Pacers vs. Madison

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Having split their two Friday games, the Switzerland County Pacer boys varsity basketball team took to the court in Madison on Saturday evening to play the host Cubs in the third place game of this year’s Jefferson County Invitational Tournament.

Playing their third game in a 24-hour span, the Pacers got off to a slow start and never recovered, falling to the Cubs by a final score of 78-57.

Switzerland County was outscored by Madison 16-6 in the opening quarter, and the Cubs never really looked back.

The Pacers got baskets from Kyle Whitham, Justin Chatham, and Tyler Konkle in the first; while the Cubs got 12 points from Mason Welsh and baskets by Cooper Yancey and Ian Strouse.

The second quarter was played more evenly, with Madison winning the period by an 18-14 count.

Konkle continued his strong play with six points in the quarter to lead Switzerland County – with four of those coming from a perfect 4-for-4 on freethrow attempts.

Whitham added four more in the quarter; while Austin South and Damian Breeck both got into the scoring column with a bucket.

The Cubs got a strong quarter from Yancy, who made three three-pointers in the stanza on his way to 14 second quarter points. At halftime, Madison led Switzerland County 34-20.

The Pacers came out strong in the third quarter, scoring 20 points while limited Madison to 19.

Whitham got hot from the floor, scoring seven points on two field goals and a three-pointer; while South also connected from three-point range and added two freethrows for five points. Doug Pedraza came off the bench to hit a three-pointer in the quarter; while Chatham and Konkle contributed a basket each.

Madison’s offense was running smoothly behind Yancy (six third quarter points) and Welsh (five in the period).

With the score standing at 53-40 heading into the final quarter, Madison saw its balance and long-range shooting ability step forward and secure the win. The Pacers had a solid period offensively, scoring 17 points; but the Cubs finished with 25 more to make the final score 78-57.

Coby Chase came off of the bench for Coach Adam Dennis’s charges to connect on a pair of three-pointers for six points in the final period; while South had another three-pointer and connected on a freethrow for four points. Whitham also had four points in the final stanza – all from the freethrow line; while Pedraza had a basket and Kaleb Harrell made a freethrow.

Welsh finished the game strong, connecting on three more three-pointers to lead the Cubs to the victory.

For the game, Whitham led Switzerland County with 17 points; while South had 11 and Konkle made it three in double figures with 10.

Chase had six fourth quarter points; Pedraza added five, as did Chatham; Breeck had two; and Harrell chipped in one

Welsh led Madison with 27 points; while Yancy had 21.

Three-point shooting was definitely on display in the game, as Madison made nine shots from behind the arc; while Switzerland County converted seven of its attempts.

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Switzerland County now wraps up 2017 this Saturday night, December 30th, when Class 4A Seymour comes to visit. The junior varsity game will get underway at 6 p.m.

There won’t be much holiday rest for the Pacers, as they enter play in the 2018 Rivertown Classic at South Dearborn beginning on Thursday night, January 4th. The foe will be a familiar one, as the Pacers will play South Dearborn in the first game on Thursday night, with tip off expected at 6 p.m.