Lady Pacers earn double overtime thriller over Southwestern, 73-69

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It was such a great game, it couldn’t be decided in just four quarters – so on Tuesday night the Switzerland County Lady Pacers and the Southwestern Lady Rebels decided to play an overtime period.

Twice.

In a back-and-forth thriller that took two overtimes before Switzerland County pulled out a 73-69 win, both teams saw chances to claim the win slip through their fingers before rebounding to keep the outcome in doubt until the final buzzer.

Switzerland County jumped out to an early lead in the game, which was Southwestern’s Senior Night, on the offensive firepower of Kristen Perry and Hayley South. Southwestern wouldn’t weaken, and at the end of the first quarter the Lady Pacers held a 14-11 lead.

Southwestern bounced back with a 14-9 second quarter as Switzerland County tried to find a way to manage without Kristen Perry, as the conference’s third leading scorer went to the bench with three fouls for the final 3:24 of the quarter and Switzerland County trailing 17-16.

But the Lady Pacers held their ground, heading into halftime trailing just 25-23.

The third quarter was a big one for Switzerland County, as the Lady Pacers outscored Southwestern 24-15, moving out to a 12-point lead when Hayley South grabbed an offensive rebound off of a missed freethrow and got the put-back with 42-seconds to go. Southwestern again showed its offensive muscle, collecting five points in the quarter’s final 32-seconds to go to the third quarter break with the Lady Pacers holding a 47-40 lead.

The final period was a back-and-forth struggle, with Switzerland County trying to expand its lead, but each time Southwestern would answer.

The Lady Rebels got to within three at 50-47 with 3:34 to play; but Switzerland County got a freethrow from Hayley South and a huge three-pointer from Kristen Perry to push back out to a seven-point advantage.

The lead still stood at seven points – 56-49 – with just 35-seconds to play, and it appeared that Switzerland County would leave Hanover with a big conference win.

Not so fast.

With 35-seconds to play Southwestern’s Katey Mahoney converted a three-point play to cut the lead to four. Bre Hinman then made a freethrow for Switzerland County with 33-seconds to play as Southwestern fouled trying to get possession, and moments later Lady Rebel Katie McKinley connected on a long three-pointer that sliced the lead to two with 26-seconds left.

Trying to fight through a tight Southwestern pressure defense, Switzerland County got tied up on its next possession, with the Lady Rebels getting the ball on the alternating possession. When Southwestern’s Kelsey Jones made a runner in the lane with just nine-seconds to play, the Lady Rebels had erased a seven-point deficit and the teams headed to a four-minute overtime period.

Kristen Perry opened the period with a jumper, but Kelsey Jones made two freethrows to match that. Maggie Armstrong then converted to push Switzerland County back out by two; but Southwestern got baskets from Kelsey Jones and Sydnie McKinley to grab a two-point lead.

With 34-seconds left Switzerland County’s Lindsay Scott nailed a pair of freethrows, and at the buzzer the teams headed to a second overtime period.

Kelsey Jones opened the second overtime with a pair of freethrows to give Southwestern the lead, but Maggie Armstrong hit a big three-pointer that pushed Switzerland County back in front. Alex Gordon then answered that with a basket in the lane; but again Lindsay Scott hit two key freethrows to give the Lady Pacers a one-point advantage.

Katie McKinley then made a pair of freethrows for Southwestern; but Kristen Perry matched those with a pair of charities; and with 47-seconds to play Switzerland County was clinging to a one point lead.

Southwestern couldn’t convert, but Switzerland County missed a pair of freethrows to give the Lady Rebels new life – but again the Switzerland County defense shut down the Lady Rebels.

The key play in the contest came with 11-seconds to play at Hayley South at the line shooting the double bonus.

After making the first to give Switzerland County a two-point lead, the sophomore missed the second attempt, but Lindsay Scott swept in and grabbed the offensive rebound, shooting it back out to Hayley South, who was again fouled.

This time both freethrow attempts found the mark, and Switzerland County escaped with a 73-69 victory, which moves the Lady Pacers to 3-2 overall in conference play heading into tonight’s (Thursday’s) varsity-only game against Madison Shawe, which will wrap up the regular season.

Kristen Perry led all scorers with 23 points, and also gathered nine rebounds. Hayley South continued her excellent play, finishing with 20 points, nine rebounds, and seven steals; and Maggie Armstrong added 15 points, four assists, and four steals.

Lindsay Scott made it four Lady Pacers in double figures, as she finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds; and Bre Hinman added three points, four rebounds, and four assists.

Katie McKinley led Southwestern with 20 points; while Kelsey Jones finished with 17 and Alex Gordon had 12.

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The Switzerland County Lady Pacer junior varsity team captured the ORVC championship on Tuesday night with a 40-37 win over Southwestern.

Becca Sittloh led Switzerland County with 11 points; while Trisha Smith had nine points and eight rebounds.

Allie Mathews had seven points, six rebounds, and four assists; Emily White had seven points; Ashley Watson had four points; and Olivia Hewitt finished with two points.