Lady Pacers battle hard but fall at Southwestern

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Switzerland County’s young Lady Pacer varsity basketball squad traveled to Hanover last Thursday night for one of its first significant tests of the season – a non-conference showdown with perennial power Southwestern.

Although the Lady Pacers didn’t win the battle on Thursday – they may still yet win the war.

Prior to the game, Switzerland County Coach Wayne Ellegood said that it would be a “feeling out” game for both teams, noting that the second meeting of the season – in the regular season’s final week in Vevay – is the conference game; and that the two teams may also meet in Sectional play.

“Our kids never game up,” Wayne Ellegood said following the game, which Southwestern won by a 60-55 score.

Southwestern snuck out to an early 11-9 lead after the first period of play; and then flexed its offensive muscle by outscoring Switzerland County 22-16 in the game’s second period.

That six point swing proved to be critical; as Switzerland County outscored their hosts 15-12 in the third quarter before both teams notched 15 points in the final period.

Switzerland County got key offensive help from its “Big Three”, as sophomore Kristen Perry led the Lady Pacers with 17 points; junior Maggie Armstrong finished with 16 points; and senior Jenna Daugherty made it three in double figures, as she finished with 10.

While Southwestern led through a majority of the contest, Switzerland County kept battling back, and when Maggie Armstrong canned a jumper with just 48-seconds to play in the game, the Lady Pacers found themselves down by just two, 55-53.

Southwestern countered with some critical freethrow shooting; but with just 14-seconds left, another Maggie Armstrong jumper pulled Switzerland County to within three points, and brought the Lady Pacer crowd to its feet.

Trying to regain possession of the ball, Switzerland County was forced to foul, and when Southwestern’s Kelsey Jones converted on both freethrow attempts, it ended the scoring and sent Switzerland County home on the short end of a 60-55 decision.

Along with double figure efforts from the Lady Pacer trio, Switzerland County also got four points from Lindsay Scott; and two points each from Carrie Truax, Hailee Smith, Casey Sharp, and Katie Rayls.

Maggie Armstrong made two three-pointers in the game; and another key in the game came at the freethrow line, where Switzerland County was just 7-for-16 at the stripe (43.8-percent); while Southwestern was 18-for-25 (72-percent).

The nine additional attempts and the 11 additional points proved critical, as Switzerland County committed only three more fouls (19-16), but those fouls resulted in freethrows rather than inbounding the ball.