Lady Pacers drop opener to Madison

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After losing seven seniors from last year’s team, this year’s Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team looked to game some experience as it opened the season last Friday night at home with Madison.

Switzerland County fought hard the whole game, but in the end fell by a final score of 60-41.

Things got off to a close start early, as the Lady Pacers picked up an early lead on a basket by Kristen Perry and two freethrows from Maggie Armstrong.

Madison countered with baskets by Lauren Green and Nayla Lunsford to move back in front.

Kristen Perry scored again; but that was matched by another basket by Lauren Green; and after Kristen Perry converted two freethrows, Madison got quarter-ending buckets from Kayla Luellen and Erin Johann to take a 13-8 lead after the first period.

Madison drew first blood in the second quarter with a basket; but Switzerland County responded with a run of six straight points on a basket by Lindsay Scott and a basket and two freethrows by Hailee Smith.

With four minutes to play, the Lady Pacers were within one, 15-14.

Lauren Green scored for Madison; but another basket by Kristen Perry kept the score close.

Then Madison went on a run, getting three-point field goals from Erica Bentz and Erin Johann and a two-point field goal by Erica Bentz to jump the lead out to nine with two minutes to play in the half.

Maggie Armstrong had a basket and a freethrow to cut the lead to six; and Madison’s Kelsey Block matched Switzerland County’s Kristen Perry with buckets as time ran out, and the teams went to the lockerroom with the Lady Cubs holding a 27-21 lead.

Maggie Armstrong opened the second half with a three-pointer that drew Switzerland County to within three; but Madison hit an offensive spurt after that, going on a run of 11 straight points to swell the lead to 38-24.

Maggie Armstrong again scored to stop the run; but the Lady Pacers had endured a stretch of more than six minutes without a score; and Madison followed that with another run of five points to end the quarter with a 43-26 advantage.

Madison outscored Switzerland County 16-5 in the third quarter.

Switzerland County made another run as the fourth quarter got underway, getting baskets from Bre Hinman, Carrie Truax, and Maggie Armstrong to close the gap to 11; and after Erin Johann scored for Madison, another bucket from Bre Hinman kept the Lady Pacers in the contest,

But the young Lady Pacers would again endure a scoreless streak – this one lasting more than four minutes – and Madison would answer with 12 unanswered points to balloon the lead to 57-34.

Jenna Daugherty finally stopped the drought with two minutes to play; and both teams would score four points each the rest of the game to make the final score 60-41 in favor of Madison.

The Lady Pacer had some growing pains on the night, committing 28 turnovers, while Madison finished with 19 miscues.

Rebounding was even, with Madison winning the battle of the boards by a 39-36 margin. The Lady Pacers were an impressive 11-for-14 at the freethrow line.

Individually, Maggie Armstrong led Switzerland County with 12 points; while Kristen Perry finished in double figures with 10 in spite of leaving the game after suffering an injury in the second half and battling illness through the week.

Bre Hinman finished her first varsity game with six points; while Jenna Daugherty and Hailee Smith finished with four each. Lindsay Scott and Carrie Truax each finished with two points.

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The junior varsity team kicked off its season with a 52-24 loss to Madison.

Hayley South led Switzerland County with seven points; and Kelly Kincaid added six.

Becca Sittloh had five points; Karoline Park had two points; and Paige Kelly finished with one point.