Lady Pacers battle hard, can’t overcome South Ripley balance

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The Switzerland County Lady Pacers closed the home portion of their season last Thursday night with a game against state-ranked South Ripley, and as the team and community saluted seniors Allie Mathews and Kelly Kincaid for their four years of effort; it wasn’t enough for the young Switzerland County squad to pull out the win.

South Ripley used its experience and balance to keep Switzerland County at bay all night long, and at the final buzzer the Lady Raiders had earned a 59-24 win.

Although South Ripley jumped out to an early lead that it would never relinquish, Switzerland County continued to fight hard throughout the game, contesting every shot and chasing down every loose ball.

Jessica Foster opened the game for the Lady Raiders with a basket, but that was matched quickly with an inside bucket from freshman Eve Galbreath.

South Ripley then went on a run, scoring seven points in a row; and after Eve Galbreath stopped that spree with a basket, the Lady Raiders got a three-point play from Whitney Walker, and at the end of the first quarter, South Ripley held a 12-4 lead.

Eve Galbreath opened the second stanza with a basket; and after Kaitlyn Welch scored for South Ripley, another Eve Galbreath bucket kept the Lady Pacers alive. Jessica Foster scored for the Lady Raiders, but again it was Eve Galbreath – who scored Switzerland County’s first nine points – converting a pair of freethrows to keep the game close.

Kaitlyn Welch scored and Rachel Hensley followed that with a pair of freethrows to push the Lady Raiders out to a 20-9 lead; but the Lady Pacers got baskets from Emily White and Allie Mathews to climb back to within seven. Jessica Foster scored again, but Eve Galbreath converted a pair of freethrows, and with 2:32 to play, Switzerland County was still within striking distance.

But those would be the final points of the quarter for the Lady Pacers, as South Ripley reeled off 10 straight points to close the quarter, and went to the halftime break leading by a score of 32-15.

The third quarter would see another Switzerland County offensive freeze, as the Lady Pacers could only manage two points in the period – a basket by Allie Mathews with 4:47 to go.

South Ripley, meanwhile, continued its methodical offensive work.

The Lady Raiders would score 14 points over the eight-minute span to hold a 46-17 lead after three quarters and basically ice the game away.

The final quarter was more of the same, as Switzerland County scored just seven points in the stanza – nine total for the half – and South Ripley scored 13 points over the same stretch.

The Lady Pacers got baskets in the final quarter from Mercedes Parham and Tess Stoops; and also got three freethrows from Eve Galbreath.

The final score: South Ripley 59, Switzerland County 24.

Eve Galbreath led Switzerland County with 12 points – half the team’s total; and both Allie Mathews and Eve Galbreath finished with four. Emily White and Mercedes Parham finished with two points apiece.

Jessica Foster led South Ripley with 19 points; Whitney Walker had 12; and Kaitlyn Welch was in double figures with 10.

The Lady Pacers close the regular season tonight (Thursday) when they travel to Madison Shawe. It is a varsity only game and will start at 6:30 p.m. Switzerland County then enters Sectional play next Friday, February 10th, when they play the winner of the Milan-Southwestern game in the South Ripley Sectional at approximately 7:30 p.m.

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In junior varsity action, South Ripley defeated Switzerland County by a final score of 32-20.

Hailee Lay and Carleigh Hughes each led the team with seven points apiece; while Vicky Abbott, Mercedes Parham, and Jacqueline Hensley all contributed two points each.