With the six-team, two day Jefferson County Invitational Tourney being held in Madison last Friday and Saturday, the short timeline made for some interesting scheduling; so after Switzerland County defeated South Dearborn on Friday afternoon; the Pacers got a two-hour break before heading back onto the floor to take on state-ranked Southwestern in the final game of the night.
Coming off a tight battle with the Knights; Switzerland County responded to the challenge of the Rebels, but in the end a frigid third quarter spelled doom for the Pacers, falling to Southwestern by a final score of 70-53.
The first quarter was tight, as Southwestern held a 14-11 lead after eight minutes of play; but the Pacer offense stayed steady as the defense held the high-powered Rebels in check.
Tyler Konkle continued his strong inside/outside play for the Pacers, scoring two baskets for four points in the quarter; while Cade Rider and Damian Breeck each connected on a three-pointer to finish the scoring. Southwestern got four points in the first from Hunter Mefford; while Foster Mefford contributed three points.
Down just three heading into the second period, wear and tear from the earlier game began to show on Switzerland County, as Southwestern, who played its first game of two earlier in the day, outscored the Pacers 20-11 in the quarter to grab a 34-22 lead at the half.
Again three-pointers fueled the Pacers, as Switzerland County made three shots from behind the arc in the period. Doug Pedraza, Landon Wilks, and Breeck each connected from long range; and another bucket inside from Konkle provided the scoring total. Southwestern was paying close attention to two keys in the Switzerland County offense, and at the half the Rebels had held both Austin South and Kyle Whitham scoreless.
Southwestern got big second quarter production from Tyler Kramer, who accounted for nine points; while Caleb Bentley had five points and Coleman Jones had four points.
Down by 12 at the break, the third quarter spelled doom for the Pacers, as Southwestern outscored Switzerland County by a 27-9 margin to extend its advantage to 61-31 after three periods.
The Rebel scoring came from seemingly everywhere, as Matthew Williams had three three-pointers for nine in the quarter; Foster Mefford had nine on three field goals and a three-pointer; and Kramer added eight on a pair of field goals, a three-pointer, and a freethrow.
Switzerland County’s scoring in the period saw Breeck with five points on a field goal and a three-pointer; while South and Whitham broke free, each converting a field goal for two points.
Down 30 heading into the final quarter, Switzerland County got its offense rolling, outscoring Southwestern 22-9, but the deficit was simply too much to overcome.
Breeck had two more three-pointers in the final quarter; and Whitham had seven points on a three-pointer and a pair of field goals. Konkle had two field goals and added a freethrow for five points; while South and Rider each contributed two points.
The final buzzer saw Southwestern earn the 70-53 win, which also allowed the Rebels to win Pool ‘B’ of the tournament, and advance to Saturday night’s championship game against Henryville, the winner of Pool ‘A’.
By virtue of defeated South Dearborn before losing to Southwestern, the Pacers finished second in Pool ‘B’, and that meant a game against Madison on Saturday night.
South Dearborn, third in Pool ‘B’, drew a matchup with Shawe Memorial, third place finisher in Pool ‘A’, and Saturday.
Southwestern was led in the game by Kramer with 19 points; while Foster Mefford and Williams each had 17; Jones had nine; and Hunter Mefford added eight.