Heartbreak for Pacers as Switzerland County bows out of Sectional play on Tuesday

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It was the first time in more than 50 years that this county had hosted a boys basketball sectional tournament. It was the first time ever that Switzerland County High School had hosted a Sectional; and the first time since 2004 when the girls sectional was played here.

Everything was in place for a grand week as the tournament kicked off Tuesday night, but by the end of the evening, Coach Brian Bowen’s Pacers were sent packing from the tourney with a loss at the hands of South Ripley, 41-33.

The shocking loss ends the Switzerland County season with an overall record of 13-8; and sends South Ripley into tomorrow (Friday) night’s opening semifinal game against North Decatur. The Chargers advanced in the Sectional with a 54-40 victory over Milan in Tuesday night’s opening game.

Even with the loss, the tournament being held here has been well organized under the direction of athletic director Kent Dunning and principal Candis Haskell and a bevy of volunteers.

New portable bleachers located on the north end of the gym held part of the large crowd on Tuesday night; and steps were taken to make sure that no detail went unaddressed in dealing with the schools and the fans.

And the fans – wow – Switzerland County had a huge contingent on Tuesday night.

Located in the northwest corner of the Pacer gym, once the Milan-North Decatur game concluded and fans from those schools headed home, Switzerland County faithful filled the entire west side of the gym, decked out in orange and blue in full support of the team.

“I’m very proud of our students and our community for the support that they showed our team and this event,” athletic director Kent Dunning said. “We should be proud of the fact that we’re putting on a first-class tournament here.”

After tomorrow night’s first semifinal game, Southwestern and Lawrenceburg finally get their chance in this year’s tournament, having drawn the bye game and not playing on Tuesday. The first semifinal game gets underway at 6 p.m., while the second should start at approximately 7:30 p.m.

The two winners tomorrow night will return to Vevay on Saturday night for the Sectional championship game, which will get underway at 7:30 p.m.

The Switzerland County Sectional winner will then advance to the Alexandria Regional on Saturday, March 10th, and will play the winner of the Hagerstown Sectional in the tourney’s second game.