Emily White scores 17 points, but Lady Pacers fall to Knights

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The Switzerland County Lady Pacer basketball team rebounded from its season-opening loss to Madison on Friday night with a road game at South Dearborn on Saturday, and even though Switzerland County ended up on the short end of a 36-29 decision, the new coach saw improvement.

“We definitely walked away feeling a little bit better, but it was still a hard loss, losing by six points,” Coach Ashley Chase said. “I think at the end we almost gave it away. We had some costly turnovers, but I think as the season goes along, at the end of those games we’re going to respond better than we did against South Dearborn.”

After Friday night’s loss, Coach Chase was pleased that when her team reported for practice on Saturday morning, the loss was behind them and they were squarely focused on South Dearborn.

“I was pleased with the attitude that they showed,” the coach said. “You say that you’re going to forget about it and move forward, but sometimes that’s a hard thing to do. Our team did that. We didn’t talk about the game, we just worked hard on the things that we knew we had to get better at. It was good to see them respond in such a positive way.”

Noting that her squad was upset after the Madison loss, Coach Chase noted that a lockerroom full of angry players is a good thing because it shows that each player took the game personally – and is now working to get better.

As for Saturday night, South Dearborn jumped out to a 9-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, and then expanded the advantage to 20-14 by the half.

Not giving up, Switzerland County fought back with an excellent third period coming out of the lockerroom, outscoring the Lady Knights by an 8-3 margin in the quarter to narrow the gap to 23-22 with a quarter to play.

Much of the Lady Pacer offense came from junior Emily White, who finished the contest with a game-high 17 points, including a three-pointer.

The fourth quarter saw Switzerland County fail to capitalize on its third period momentum, as South Dearborn outscored their guests 13-7 over the final stanza to make the final margin seven points, 36-29.

“Our defense looked, at times, amazing,” Ashley Chase said of Saturday’s game. “We’ve really been stressing help-side defense, and I saw a lot of that. We’ve also been stressing communicating with each other, and I saw a lot of that, and that was good to see. The girls are really communicating with each other out on the floor.”

Along with Emily White’s 17 points, Switzerland County also got six points from Eve Galbreath although she was saddled with foul trouble early in the contest; and Mercedes Parham, Bre Ricketts, and Hailee Lay all chipped in two points each.

South Dearborn was led by Kooper Vertz with 10 points; and Ellen Barrett added eight.

The Lady Pacers now turn their attention to their third straight road game to open the season, as they will travel to Rising Sun tomorrow (Friday) to take on the Lady Shiners. The junior varsity game kicks off at 6 p.m. Switzerland County finally gets a home game this Wednesday when Borden comes to the Lady Pacer gym.

“I think the big thing this week is a lot of mental preparation as we get ready for Rising Sun,” the coach said. “We’re hoping that Kelly Kincaid gets cleared to play as she is recuperating from knee surgery last year. We are continuing to work hard and tuning up some of the things that we’re doing and fixing some of the things that we saw against South Dearborn that we need to fix. We’re constantly evaluating ourselves. You can talk about what you’re doing wrong, but if you don’t have a plan in place to fix it, then you’re really doing nothing.”

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In the junior varsity game, Switzerland County fell to South Dearborn in overtime by a score of 31-30.

Tess Stoops was the leading scorer for the Lady Pacers with 10 points; while the trio of Hailee Lay, Bre Ricketts, and Emily White all had five points each. Carleigh Hughes added four points; and Paige Ridener had one point.