The Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team entered its season-opening game on Saturday night as the 13th ranked team in Class 2A in Indiana; and it didn’t take long for Coach Ashley Kitts’ team to justify that lofty rating.
Breaking out to a 17-2 lead in the first quarter, the Lady Pacers dominated play all night, manhandling the Lady Rebels of Southwestern by a final score of 62-35.
Switzerland County’s offense was clicking right away, as the Lady Pacers got baskets from Kelsi Konkle, Makenzie Mathews, and Taylar Jordan to break out to a 6-0 advantage. Southwestern got on the board when Abby Ralston hit a short jumper at the five minute mark; but those would be the only points of the quarter for the Lady Rebels, as Switzerland County’s smothering defense took control early.
Mathews and Konkle scored again, with a layup by Brooke Todd sandwiched in between; and the period ended on another bucket by Todd and a three-pointer from Mathews.
After the first eight minutes, Switzerland County led 17-2.
The second quarter started with a basket by Whitley Schirmer and a three-point play by Konkle to balloon the lead up to 22-2; but Southwestern came back with a basket by Ralston and a three-pointer by Michaela Mahoney.
Schirmer ended that run with a three-pointer of her own; and after Mahoney made a pair of freethrows; Todd raced through the middle for another bucket. Mahoney again made a pair of charities, but Konkle connected from the baseline and Todd drilled a three-pointer to push the lead to 32-11 with just over a minute to play.
Hope Tankersley then made a steal and converted the layup to expand the Lady Pacer lead even more; and after Ralston scored again; a jumper from Schirmer kept Switzerland County firmly in command.
Kelsi Brierly scored at the end of the quarter for Southwestern, but the half ended with Switzerland County well in front, 36-15.
The third quarter again saw the Lady Pacer offense dominate, as Konkle and Todd opened the half with buckets. Mahoney again converted a pair of freethrows for the Lady Rebels, but Todd went right back to work, scoring inside to keep the lead at 25. Southwestern’s Kayla Adkins converted a three-point play at the 4:03 mark; but that finished off the quarter scoring for the Lady Rebels, as Switzerland County would score nine unanswered points to close the period with a 51-20 lead.
Todd had five points in that run; and Tankersley accounted for the other four.
The final quarter was uneventful, with the game’s outcome never in doubt.
Mathews hit a freethrow, followed by a basket and then a pair of freethrows by Todd and another bucket by Konkle, and with 5:23 to go Coach Kitts called her senior trio to the bench for the night, as the Lady Pacers led 58-20.
In fact, when Todd left the floor, she was actually ahead of the Lady Rebel team, 22-20 in scoring.
It became a freethrow event from there, as Southwestern would go to the line 15 times in the closing five minutes, converting 11 of those attempts.
Switzerland County got baskets by Tankersley and Emerson Schroer to close that column, and even with the extensive freethrow shooting, Southwestern couldn’t dig out of their hole, and the final horn sounded with the Lady Pacers in front, 62-35.
Todd led all scorers with 22 points, and her 11 assists on the night tied the school record held by Angie Poling from 1994. She also added five steals and six rebounds to her tally.
Konkle was also in double figures, finishing with 13 to go along with five rebounds, five assists and three steals; and Mathews had eight points, four rebounds, and two assists. Tankersley also had eight points, and had three rebounds and an assist.
Schirmer had seven points on the night to go with six steals, four rebounds and two assists; Jordan had two points and a rebound; and Schroer added two points and two rebounds.
The Lady Pacers now take to the road, visiting Madison tomorrow (Friday) night and then going to South Dearborn on Saturday. Switzerland County then finishes off a long road trip next Friday with a visit to Rising Sun. The Lady Pacers next home game is Saturday, November 21st when Franklin County pays a visit.
The jayvee Lady Pacer team opened its season with a loss on Saturday night, 31-28.
Kinley Morton had an outstanding game for Switzerland County, finishing with 14 points; while Mallory Phagan and Jody Breeck added four points each. Emerson Schroer, Lexi Lay, and Calleigh Powell each contributed two points in the loss.