Lady Pacers can’t capitalize on chances, fall to South Dearborn

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The Switzerland County Lady Pacers open the season with a brutal schedule that sees the team play four of its first five games on the road. Early in the year teams have the opportunity to take advantage of opportunities – but Saturday night at South Dearborn, the Lady Pacers let those opportunities slip away.

“That was a game that I felt we should have won,” head coach Wayne Ellegood said. “We were a little sluggish and didn’t play with the same intensity that we had on Friday night at Madison.”

Even with sluggish play and questionable officiating that saw South Dearborn get whistled for its second foul of the half with just 31-seconds left, the Lady Pacers were right in the game, trailing 10-7 at the first quarter break and 16-15 at halftime.

Balance was again the offensive key for Switzerland County, as five different players scored in the opening half – led by senior Amber Smith’s five, including a bucket at the buzzer that could have been a called foul on the Lady Knight defender.

While South Dearborn played foul-free, Switzerland County struggled, getting whistled for more than 10 fouls in the half, sending many Lady Pacers to the bench.

“Even though we were in foul trouble, we were still right in the game in the final quarter,” Coach Ellegood said. “We just never got comfortable playing, I don’t think.”

Another solid third quarter saw Switzerland County take the lead by a score of 27-26. The big play in the period was a four-point play by Amber Smith, as she was fouled while sinking a long three-pointer.

That pushed the Lady Pacers to a 12-10 advantage in the quarter, and set up what promised to be an exciting final stanza.

Both teams jockeyed back and forth as the final quarter started, trading the lead on alternating buckets.

The Lady Pacers pushed out to a 35-30 advantage on baskets by Morgan Ross and Courtney Cole; but South Dearborn responded with a run of four straight to close to within one.

After South Dearborn’s Ellie Smith drilled a three-pointer with 2:15 to play; Switzerland County got a huge lift when senior Megan McCarty converted a traditional three-point play to tie the score at 40-40.

“I though Megan had a good, solid game for us,” Coach Ellegood said. “She worked hard and played some really big minutes.”

With the game tied, Switzerland County’s offense went cold, as South Dearborn ran off a string of eight straight points – half on freethrows, as the Lady Knights again found themselves in the double bonus while the Lady Pacers still weren’t in the penalty.

Down by eight, Amber Smith hit her fourth three-pointer of the night to draw the game to within five with 14-seconds to play; but four more freethrows by South Dearborn made the final score 52-43 - a much larger margin than the game actually was.

Amber Smith had 20 points to lead Switzerland County, and she also pulled down seven rebounds and had two steals.

Courtney Cole was again in double figures with 12; Morgan Ross and Megan McCarty each finished with seven points; and Tanya Sefton added two.

The Lady Pacers now return to action tomorrow (Friday) night when they travel to Rising Sun for a 6 p.m. tip off.

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The junior varsity team battled hard through a close game, but fell to South Dearborn by a score of 36-22. The Lady Knights used a 16-2 fourth quarter to secure the victory after a close opening three stanzas.

Jenna Daugherty led the team with nine points; and Lauren Chase and Hailee Smith each finished with four. Chelsea Peters and Katie Rayls each had two points; and Kristen Perry contributed one.