Good weekend for Pacers: ORVC title, victory over Madison

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Although another winter storm blew through Switzerland County late last week and caused Friday night’s regular season finale between Switzerland County and Madison to be rescheduled – it was still a very good weekend to be a Pacer.

South Ripley and Jac-Cen-Del did play on Friday night, and when the Raiders defeated the rival Eagles 52-47, it gave Switzerland County a share of the Ohio River Valley Conference title – only the third conference crown in boys basketball in school history.

Friday’s snowed out game was reset for Saturday night; and although Madison is a bigger school (Class 3A) and doesn’t play in Switzerland County’s conference or sectional – it’s always a big game for Switzerland County players and fans.

Saturday night was a good night, as Switzerland County posted a big rally and defeated their neighbors to the west by a score of 61-57. The win ended the Pacer regular season with a record of 13-7.

“It was definitely a big win for us,” Coach Brian Bowen said. “It was a game we didn’t put a lot of preparation into, because for us the sectional is a bigger deal; but anytime you can beat your neighboring school – and it’s Madison – it’s definitely a big win for us. They are a 3A school and play a really good schedule.”

Falling behind 14-7 at the end of the first quarter, Switzerland County’s offense warmed up in the second stanza, outscoring Madison 21-17 over the eight minute span to trail 31-28 at halftime.

“I thought at the beginning of the game when we were struggling offensively Michael Haas came in and gave us a big lift off of the bench,” Coach Bowen said. “Really it was a total team effort. Devon (Armstrong) hit some big shots for us. Kyle (Green) hit some big shots. Travis (Tackett) came off of the bench and had 12 points for us.”

Coach Bowen thought that a key early in the game was the Pacers inability to execute their gameplan on the defensive end of the floor, as Madison continued to penetrate at will for easy shots. Adjustments by the coaching staff came quickly.

“We made some adjustments in the second quarter and then talked about it more at halftime,” the Pacer mentor said. “I think that slowed them up a little, and allowed us to play the game more at our tempo.”

A 12-10 advantage in the third quarter moved the Pacers to within one, 41-40 after three periods; and Switzerland County put the game away with a 21-16 spurt over the final eight minutes to claim the 61-57 win.

Kyle Green led Switzerland County with 17 points, including three three-pointers; while Travis Tackett added 12, including two three pointers. Devon Armstrong also had two three-pointers as part of his nine points on the night.

Mark Sharp and Brennan Bragg each had six points in the game; while Michael Haas had five; Daniel Welch had four; and Brandon Otter contributed two.

Logan Jones led Madison with 28 points.

Switzerland County had a good night at the freethrow line, going 15-for-22.

With the regular season behind them, the Pacers took aim at the Southwestern Sectional, where state-ranked Lawrenceburg awaited a first round meeting.

“Every season you want to be above .500,” Brian Bowen said. “Our goals each year are to win the Rivertown and the conference and the sectional. This year we’re above .500 and we won the conference, so we are working toward our goals.”

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The junior varsity team capped its season with a 45-37 loss to Madison.

Alec McAlpine led Switzerland County with 10 points; while Noah Hughes finished with seven points and three assists. Josh Hon had five points and two steals; and Kameron Pavy also had five points to go with three rebounds.

Justin Reagan had four points and three rebounds; Tray Meyer had four points and two rebounds; and Danny Schira finished with two points.

Other players contributing to Coach Mark Boggs’ squad this year include Tanner Ross, Kendall Otter, Corey McFarland, and Travis Tackett.

The jayvee ended its year with an overall record of 13-7, and tied for the conference championship with a mark of 4-2.