Lady Pacers end year with third place finish in Franklin tourney


The Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team traveled to Franklin on Saturday to compete in a four-team tournament, and after falling in the morning game to Class 4A Anderson Highland, the Lady Pacers battled back in the consolation game to defeat Clinton Prairie to claim third place.

In the morning game, the Lady Pacers stayed with the Lady Scots early, battling inside against the taller school to trail by just two points at the first break, 13-11. Anderson Highland then moved out to a 27-23 lead at the half; but managed to outscore Switzerland County by just two points in the period.

The third quarter was the turning point in the game, as Anderson Highland flexed their muscle and scored 26 points in the quarter – nearly matching their entire first half output. Switzerland County fought to stay close, but managed only 10 points in the quarter to fall behind by 20 points, 53-23, with one quarter left to play.

The final stanza was again a close one, as Switzerland County continued to battle with timely shooting and a strong defense. Anderson Highland managed to win the quarter by a 16-13 count, however, and finished the game with a 69-46 advantage.

Courtney Cole led Switzerland County, finishing with 12 points. She also contributed four assists and three rebounds in the game.

Maggie Armstrong had nine points and six rebounds; Morgan Ross had eight points and five rebounds; Amber Smith finished with six points, three rebounds and two assists; and Megan McCarty had five points. April Thieman finished with four points, three steals, and pulled down six rebounds; and Tanya Sefton contributed two points.

In the consolation game the opponent didn’t get much easier, as the Lady Pacers took on Clinton Prairie, state-ranked in Class 1A. After a slow first half for both teams, Switzerland County turned on the offensive jets in the second half to pull away to a 39-26 win.

Clinton Prairie led by an 8-6 count at the end of the first period; but the Lady Pacers reversed that by winning the second period by an 8-6 score to send both teams to the lockerroom tied at 14-14.

The third period saw the Lady Pacers get their offense into a little more of a rhythm, outscoring the Lady Gophers by an 11-9 score to hold a two-point edge heading into the final period.

That’s when the Switzerland County offense really got rolling, and the Lady Pacer defense also followed suit.

Switzerland County outscored Clinton Prairie 14-3 over the final eight minutes to secure the victory, 39-26.

The win was even sweeter for the Lady Pacers as the squad played without senior starting guard Amber Smith, who didn’t play in the consolation game after hurting her hand between games when her fingers were smashed between two tables by a waitress in a restaurant that the team was eating at.

Courtney Cole again led Switzerland County, finishing with 12 points, nine rebounds, and four steals. She was joined in double figures by Morgan Ross, who added 10 points to go along with seven rebounds and four steals.

April Thieman finished with eight points, seven rebounds, and three steals; Maggie Armstrong had six points and three steals; and Kristen Perry had three points and four steals. Megan McCarty didn’t score, but had four rebounds, four assists, and two steals to help the Lady Pacer cause.