Lady Pacers fall to Madison in opener

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This year’s version of the Madison Lady Cubs basketball team may be one of the best teams in the area, and the young Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity squad found out just how talented they are in the season opener last Friday night, losing by a score of 83-22.

Madison raced out to an early 11-0 lead before Switzerland County got on the board at the 4:00 minute mark of the opening quarter on a freethrow by Eve Galbreath. After another Madison basket, another freethrow by Eve Galbreath made it 13-2; and when senior Allie Mathews hit a jumper with 1:23 to play in the period, Madison was ahead by a 22-4 score.

Another basket by Allie Mathews followed a Madison freethrow; and a Lady Cub basket ended the first quarter with Madison in front, 25-6.

Madison would start the second quarter with another run, scoring the first 17 points of the second period. Freshman Hailee Lay finally broke that streak with a freethrow, but by then the score had ballooned to 42-7, and the game was out of hand.

Tess Stoops would convert a basket late in the stanza, and Emily White converted a three-point play; but the half ended with Switzerland County trailing by a score of 46-12.

The third quarter was the best of the night for Switzerland County, scoring eight points over the period, but Madison continued to sub in new players, using their depth to keep fresh players on the floor against the outnumbered Lady Pacers.

Emily White had a basket in the third quarter; as did Tess Stoops and Bre Ricketts; and Eve Galbreath also had a pair of freethrows.

With a quarter to play, Madison had extended its lead to 62-20.

The final period saw Switzerland County simply run out of gas, as the Lady Pacers scored just two points – a Tess Stoops put back in the lane at the 5:32 mark – and Madison continued to just pull away, scoring 21 points in the final stanza to make the score 83-22 at the final buzzer.

After the game, new coach Ashley Chase put the game into perspective.

“I think the big thing is that we normally have just nine players at practice, so we really don’t have enough players to play five-on-five, so we really haven’t been able to pinpoint all of our weaknesses, and that was the big thing tonight, just identifying the things that we have to work on and get better at,” she said. “I think the big thing is seeing them and knowing where we stand. That’s a really good team. He’s coach them really well and there’s lots of veterans on that team.”

And the Lady Pacer coach told her troops to leave the Madison game in the Madison lockerroom and move forward.

“The big thing is seeing where we stand and knowing the things we need to work on and just getting better each game,” Coach Chase continued. “It just coming in the next day and going to work.”

She also said that simply having played an actual game also helps the program, because she and her coaching staff can now sit down and watch film and identify areas that need improvement.

“We already have a pretty good understanding of what we have to work on tomorrow, but we can go in and sit down and look at the film as a whole team and then break it down on the court a little bit. Just so they know the things that we need to work on and what the plan is going to be.”

And what did she tell her troops in the lockerroom?

“I told them that we’re not talking about this game after tonight,” she said. “Write down your emotions, how you feel, what you’re going to get better at and the plan you’re going to use to get there. And, after you write it down, forget it. We’re not going to talk about this game any more. We’re going to learn from it and we’re going to get better.”