Lady Pacer season comes to a close with Sectional loss


The season of the Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team came to an end on Friday with a loss to Southwestern in Sectional play, 67-46.

Southwestern got off to a fast start on its home floor, racing out to a 9-0 lead before Allie Mathews got Switzerland County on the board with a jumper at the 5:23 mark.

After Brandi Ponder scored again for Southwestern, the Lady Pacers got two straight baskets from Kristen Perry to creep within five. Another Southwestern bucket was matched by a pair of freethrows from Hayley South; and after Sydnie McKinley scored for the Lady Rebels, Switzerland County closed the opening quarter with baskets from Allie Mathews and Kristen Perry to draw within three, 15-12, after eight minutes of play.

Southwestern used its suffocating pressure to open the second quarter, converting Lady Pacer miscues into easy baskets, and scoring the first 11 points of the period.

With the score 26-12, Kristen Perry was fouled on a three-point attempt, and when she converted all three at the 3:19 mark, the Lady Pacers were finally on the scoreboard.

Alex Gordon scored for Southwestern; and that was matched by an inside basket from Trisha Smith, and it appeared that Switzerland County was going to go into halftime down by 11.

Sydnie McKinley had other ideas, and when her three-pointer found the range at the buzzer, Southwestern headed into the lockerroom holding a 31-17 lead.

If the Lady Rebel run to open the second quarter took the air out of the Switzerland County offense, the Southwestern run to open the third quarter was nearly devastating.

Southwestern scored the first 13 points of the second half, as the Lady Pacers tried to figure out the Lady Rebel pressure, and then try and find a good shot once they did.

Switzerland County would not score for the first 4:30 of the period, with Hayley South converting a freethrow to make the score 44-18. After Morgan Mahoney scored for Southwestern, the Lady Pacers got a three point play from Trisha Smith as the team kept fighting to get back in the game.

Another Southwestern basket was matched by a pair of freethrows by Hayley South; and after Southwestern scored again, the Lady Pacers got a three-pointer from Becca Sittloh – but that only cut the lead down to 24.

A pair of freethrows from Kristen Perry and a basket by Hayley South narrowed the lead down to 20 as the third quarter wound down; but again Southwestern stopped any hopes of a Lady Pacer comeback when Sydnie McKinley drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer, giving Southwestern a 53-30 lead with a quarter to play.

But Switzerland County hasn’t given up all season, and Friday night’s game was no exception, and the Lady Pacers opened the last quarter fighting to get back in the game.

Hayley South opened the period with a three-point play; and she then followed that with a jumper. After Southwestern got three points on freethrows, Hayley South again went to work, converting a couple of freethrows to keep the Switzerland County run alive.

She would score Switzerland County’s first nine points of the quarter, and after Emily White scored on two straight jumpers, the Lady Pacers had cut the gap down to 15 points, 58-43, with 4:30 to play.

But that was as close as the Lady Pacers would get, as both teams exchanged freethrows for the remainder of the contest. Switzerland County got a charity from Trisha Smith and a last-second bucket from Ashley Watson, and Southwestern moved into the Sectional championship game with a 67-46 win.

Hayley South led the Lady Pacers with 16 points, and she also had 10 rebounds and two steals. Kristen Perry finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, three blocked shots and four steals; while Allie Mathews concluded a solid Sectional with seven points, two rebounds and two assists.

Emily White added four points and two assists; Becca Sittloh finished with three points and a pair of assists; Trisha Smith had three points and four rebounds; and Ashley Watson contributed two points and four rebounds.

Sydnie McKinley led Southwestern with 23 points; while Kelsey Jones finished with 20.

The loss closes the Lady Pacer season with an overall record of 12-11; and the win pushed Southwestern into the championship game, where they fell to South Ripley.