Courtney Cole’s 33 not enough as Lady Pacers fall to South Decatur

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Switzerland County senior Courtney Cole scored a career-high 33 points last Thursday night at South Decatur – but it still wasn’t enough as the Lady Pacers fell to the state-ranked Lady Cougars in overtime by a score of 66-58.

The telling tale of the game was at the freethrow line, where South Decatur made more attempts (25-for-35) than Switzerland County shot (12-for-20).

The 13-point difference was huge in the second half, as South Decatur scored 10 more points at the charity stripe than the Lady Pacers – as both squads scored 22 points from the floor.

“We’re getting beat at the freethrow line,” Lady Pacer coach Wayne Ellegood said. “We need to quit fouling so much. It’s something that we’ve been working on in practice, but we’re still making too many fouls.”

South Decatur is ranked 15th in the state in Class 1A, and used the freethrow advantage to squeeze out a one-point lead after three quarters, and then hold on as Switzerland County sent the game into overtime.

In the extra period, South Decatur outscored Switzerland County 18-10 – mostly at the freethrow line – to claim the victory.

“Actually, overall I thought we played pretty well,” Coach Ellegood said. “I think we came out of the game with a lot of positives. They are a good basketball team.”

The loss overshadowed a tremendous night by Courtney Cole, who finished with 33 points. The senior was 14-for-21 from the field and 5-for-9 from the freethrow line; and also contributed four rebounds and two assists before fouling out.

“Courtney had a big time game for us,” he coach said. “It was great to see her play like that.”

The 33 points is a career high for the senior forward, and falls just short of the school record of 38 points, which is shared by Missy Ellegood and Kristal Kelly.

But Courtney Cole wasn’t the only member of the Lady Pacers to draw praise from the coach.

“Kind of hidden in the game was that Megan McCarty had her career high as a varsity player,” Wayne Ellegood said. “She also had a great game for us. It’s kind of hard to shine when a teammate gets 33 (points), but Megan did an outstanding job.”

Along with her point production, Megan McCarty also had seven rebounds and three steals.

Amber Smith had four points in the game with five rebounds and three assists; and Tanya Sefton also had four points while picking up two assists.

April Thieman had three points and four rebounds; and Morgan Ross finished with two points and six boards.

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The funeral services of Sergeant Kenneth Booker means that Saturday night’s home game against Oldenburg Academy has been postponed. Switzerland County now returns to action this Tuesday night, December 11th, when they travel to South Ripley.

That will mark a 12-day layoff for Switzerland County.

“Hopefully that won’t affect us too much,” Coach Ellegood said. “We’ll adjust and got right on. Obviously under the circumstances we weren’t going to play the game. Sometimes there’s more important things than basketball.”