The Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team earned its first win of the season on Tuesday night, a thrilling 48-45 back and forth contest over conference rival Milan.
Switzerland County, coming off its best overall showing of the season in an overtime loss to North Decatur, broke out early, outscoring their guests 12-8 in the first period. McKenli Scudder did the damage early, scoring five points in the opening stanza on a field goal and a three-pointer. Aleiah Thomas also had a three-pointer in the opening quarter; while Jody Breeck and Kinsley Griffith each contributed field goals.
The second quarter saw Milan make a comeback, outscoring Switzerland County by a 14-10 margin to tie the game at 22-22 heading into the halftime break.
Balance and key freethrow shooting kept the Lady Pacers close in the second, as the team was 4-for-5 from the charity stripe in the stanza; with Thomas accounting for three points on a field goal and a freethrow; Jaelyn Hemingway adding two freethrows; Scudder and Griffith each hitting jumpers; and Lexi Lay converting one field goal attempt.
Milan got a big second quarter from Dakota Wolfe, who came off of the bench to score eight points on three baskets and a pair of freethrows.
The tight battle continued throughout the third period, as each squad scored 11 points over the eight minute span to keep the game tied at 33-33 with a period to play.
In that key third quarter, Thomas, Breeck, and Griffith each had three points – Griffith’s coming on a three-point shot; while Keirstan Oeffinger had the other bucket.
The game saw the lead change hands during the course of the final quarter, with neither team being able to pull away to a comfortable distance before the opposition roared back.
With just 32-seconds to play, Switzerland County held a 46-45 lead, and it stayed that way until there were just nine seconds to go.
That’s when Lay was fouled and went to the freethrow line, and her two attempts found the range, extending the lead out to three and providing the final margin of victory.
Final score: Switzerland County 48. Milan 45.
The fourth quarter saw Hemingway play some critical minutes and contribute five points; while Thomas also added five points. Lay had four in the fourth; and Calleigh Powell contributed a freethrow.
Thomas led the way for Switzerland County with 14 points, and she also added three rebounds and three assists to the ledger.
Scudder had seven points, two rebounds and two assists; Hemingway had seven points; and Griffith continued the balance with seven points, three rebounds, two steals and two assists. Breeck had five points and seven boards; Lay had five points, two rebounds and two assists; Oeffinger had two points; and Powell added a point to go with two assists.
Milan was led by Wolfe with 10 points; wile Taylor Amberger and Maddy Roell each had eight.
Switzerland County now looks to build on recent success this Saturday when the Lady Pacers travel to New Albany to play Christian Academy. Tip off for the game is 6 p.m.
The junior varsity team picked up its second straight win on Tuesday night, a 43-26 decision over Milan.
Keirstan Oeffinger had 11 points (nine in the second half) to lead the way; while Brooke Johnson was in double figures with 10 (eight in the second quarter). Josie Meyer had nine points; Calleigh Powell had six in one quarter of play; Jaelyn Hemingway and Jayden Thomas each had three; and Emma Sullivan contributed one point.