Kincaid’s 22 not enough as Pacers fall to Shiners, 61-58


Switzerland County junior Keegan Kincaid scored a game-high 22 points, but it was not enough last Friday night as the Rising Sun Shiners claimed the “Ruler of the River” trophy with a 61-58 victory over the Pacers.

The “Ruler of the River” trophy goes to the winning team of the four Switzerland County-Rising Sun varsity games throughout the regular season (two boys, two girls), and remains in that school’s possession until it is won back by the other school.

“Extremely disappointing from an effort standpoint,” Switzerland County coach B.J. McAlister said following the game. “With all of the things that we deal with in terms of our experience level, the one thing that we never thought we’d have to overcome was the ‘skill’ to play hard, and we didn’t play very hard. Give credit to Rising Sun. They had a chip on their shoulder and they wanted to defend their home court against a rival, and that’s what they did.”

The game was close throughout the first half, with Switzerland County breaking out to a quick 5-2 lead on the strength of two baskets and a freethrow by senior Adam Clark.

A three-pointer by Josh Uhlmansiek tied the game; and after Keegan Kincaid scored, Rising Sun got a basket from Tyler Jones and a freethrow by Kreigh Liggett to take the lead for the first time.

Keegan Kincaid scored again, but the Shiners finished off the opening stanza with buckets by Josh Uhlmansiek and Jake Willhite to grab a 12-9 lead at the first break.

Clint Swanson came off of Coach McAlister’s bench and provided a spark as the second period got underway, making a steal and turning it into a layup that narrowed the gap to one. Nathan Hannan was then fouled while attempting a three-pointer, and after he made all three freethrow attempts, Rising Sun held a 15-11 lead.

Keegan Kincaid bounced right back, converting a traditional three-point play to again cut the lead back to one, but the Shiners got a three-pointer from Jake Willhite to push the lead back to four.

Anthony Dennis hit a jumper to slice the lead back to two; but the Shiners then went on an 8-0 run on a pair of baskets from Kreigh Liggett and buckets by Jake Willhite and Josh Uhlmansiek.

Adam Clark then stopped the run with an inside basket, and the half ended with the Shiners leading by a score of 26-18.

The Shiners then widened the lead to nine with a freethrow to open the second half; but freshman Chase Ritch drilled a three-pointer to make the score 27-21. Again the Pacer defense faltered, allowing Jake Willhite to get free for a three-pointer of his own, and after Adam Clark scored inside for Switzerland County, Nathan Hannan converted a traditional three-point play that swelled the lead to 10, 33-23.

Switzerland County continued to pour the ball inside, getting two more buckets from Adam Clark; but Rising Sun kept responding with some dead-eye shooting, with Josh Uhlmansiek hitting his second three-pointer of the game. Baskets by Kreigh Liggett and Jake Willhite closed the third quarter, as the Shiners built a commanding 40-27 lead.

Switzerland County made a run in the final period, getting a basket and four straight freethrows from Keegan Kincaid to get within seven; but again the Pacer defense couldn’t get a vital stop when it needed one; and Jake Willhite scored again to break the streak.

Keegan Kincaid scored again; but Rising Sun matched that; and when Anthony Dennis hit another jumper, again it was a patient Shiner offense that scored to keep the lead at nine.

Quinn Meyer’s basket was matched by Kreigh Liggett; and Anthony Dennis’s jumper was countered by a pair of freethrows from Nathan Hannan.

With time slipping away, Switzerland County found itself on the short end of a 50-41 score.

Quinn Meyer got the Pacer offense rolling with another basket, and a Keegan Kincaid freethrow sliced the lead back to six. Rising Sun responded with a bucket, but again Keegan Kincaid scored on a knifing drive through the lane.

The back-and-forth battle continued as the clock wound down, with Switzerland County getting a basket by Trevor Smith, but Rising Sun answered right back with four straight freethrows by Nathan Hannan.

With less than two minutes to play, Rising Sun held a 59-49 lead.

Switzerland County responded, getting a three-pointer from Anthony Dennis; and after Shiner Kreigh Liggett managed to convert one freethrow, a pair of charities from Keegan Kincaid cut the lead down to six.

Nathan Hannan hit a freethrow, and with less than a minute to play, Rising Sun was clinging to a 61-54 lead.

That got closer in the final moments, as Keegan Kincaid and Anthony Dennis both scored in the game’s final seconds, but it was too little, too late, and the Shiners escaped with a 61-58 win.

“When it comes to rivalry games, it comes down to who has poise and who executes the best,” Coach McAlister said. “They were able to do what they wanted to do. They wanted to change up defenses and keep us out of rhythm, and we never had the poise to just settle down. They executed a heck of a lot better.”

Switzerland County also hurt itself by not getting to the freethrow line. After attempting just two freethrows in last Wednesday’s game with Floyd Central, the Pacers saw Rising Sun get nine more attempts in Friday’s game, converting five more attempts – five more points in a game decided by just three.

“That was a point of emphasis tonight, to get to the line,” the Pacer coach said. “We really talked about how we needed to penetrate the gaps. The jumpers were there, but with hands in your face, it’s not a good shot. Your goal should always be to make more freethrows than your opponent attempts.”

So what do the Pacers take from Friday’s loss?

“We will get back to work and we’ll take from this that we don’t take anything for granted,” B.J. McAlister said. “Sometimes you learn a lot from a good, old fashioned butt-kicking, and hopefully this will wake us up.”

Keegan Kincaid led the Pacers with 22 points on the night, while Adam Clark finished with 13 and Anthony Dennis added 12 off of the bench. Quinn Meyer had four; Chase Ritch had three; and Clint Swanson and Trevor Smith had two each.

Jake Willhite led Rising Sun with 20 points; while Nathan Hannan had 15; Kreigh Liggett had 12; and Josh Uhlmansiek finished with 10.

Switzerland County returns to action tomorrow (Friday) at South Dearborn before returning home to play South Ripley this Saturday.


The Switzerland County junior varsity team won a close battle with Rising Sun, claiming a 32-30 victory.

Clint Swanson led the Pacers with 12 points and six rebounds; while Austin Clark and Braden Burk each added seven points. Anthony Dennis had four points; and Justus Powell added two points.