Lady Pacers in the dark over ORVC loss to Southwestern

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Where were you when the lights went out?

As storms came through Southeastern Indiana Tuesday night, the Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team was battled state-ranked Southwestern when the lights in the Southwestern gym suddenly went out with 4:01 to play in the second quarter.

At the time the gym went dark, the Lady Pacers and the Lady Rebels had fought to a 26-26 tie – but when the lights came back on 12 minutes later, Switzerland County couldn’t find its offensive footing, and Southwestern went on a 14-0 run.

That run provided the breathing room that the Lady Rebels needed, and although Switzerland County made several more runs during the remainder of the game, they could never overcome that spurt, and Southwestern won the game and the conference championship with a 70-48 victory.

“We had some let downs at bad times,” Lady Pacer coach Wayne Ellegood said following the game. “When you play a good team like that, you just can’t afford to have any letdowns, and that hurt us tonight.”

Switzerland County played the game without senior guard Amber Smith, who watched the game in street clothes with a bad back. That made the Lady Pacer substitution rotation thin, and it also forced sophomore guard Maggie Armstrong into the starting lineup.

“I thought Maggie played an outstanding game for us tonight,” Coach Ellegood said. “She handled the press and didn’t get rattled. She was in the right place where she needed to be, and I thought she played a great game.”

The frontline combination of seniors Megan McCarty and Morgan Ross also had outstanding games, consistently converting inside against the physical play of the Lady Rebels. On the game, Megan McCarty led Switzerland County with 16 points; while Morgan Ross finished with 14 points.

The game was close throughout the first period, with both teams tied at 6-6 when Maggie Armstrong had a clean look at a three-pointer, but the shot wound around the rim before coming free, and Southwestern came downcourt and got a three-pointer from Kendall Withered. Morgan Ross then got free inside to cut the lead to one; but Southwestern scored six straight points to take a 15-8 lead.

The Lady Pacers responded, getting a basket and then a three-point play from Megan McCarty to cut the lead to two; and after Sonja Bowyer scored for Southwestern; the Lady Pacers got two freethrows from Maggie Armstrong and another basket from Megan McCarty to tie the score at 17-17 after one quarter.

Switzerland County took the lead to open the second stanza wen Morgan Ross converted after some nifty passing by the Lady Pacers; but Kendall Withered drained a three-pointer to push Southwestern back in front by one.

Megan McCarty answered that with another traditional three-point play; and Southwestern came back with a basket to knot the game at 22-22.

Courtney Cole then got free for Switzerland County, scoring two straight baskets to give the Lady Pacers a four-point advantage, but again the Lady Rebels answered with a run of four straight to again tie the game at 26-26 with 4:01 to play in the half.

And then it went dark.

Officials sent both teams to their benches while the vapor lights in the Southwestern gym got back up to power, and the delay lasted approximately 12 minutes before everyone returned to the court.

Southwestern came out smoking, scoring the final 10 points of the half to break open the game and finish the quarter on a 14-0 run including the four points scored before the lights went out.

The Lady Pacers didn’t score for the remainder of the half, but had to feel good about going to the lockerroom down by only 10, 36-26.

Morgan Ross opened the second half with a basket to cut the lead to eight; but Southwestern got four straight points from Devin Brierly and Sonja Bowyer to answer that. Morgan Ross then got free again inside, but Sarah Roth converted to keep the Southwestern lead at 12.

The Lady Pacers then put together a run of six straight points on two baskets by Courtney Cole and a bucket by Megan McCarty, and with 3:55 to play in the third quarter, the Lady Rebel lead stood at 42-36.

Southwestern isn’t one of the best teams in the state by accident, and the Lady Rebels responded with a run of five straight points; and closed the quarter on a 14-4 run to make the score 56-40 with a period to play.

The Switzerland County points came on two freethrows by Megan McCarty and a basket by Courtney Cole.

The fourth quarter opened with Southwestern going on a 9-4 run to open the lead to 21 points; as Morgan Ross accounted for both Lady Pacer baskets.

Courtney Cole and Tanya Sefton then scored for Switzerland County, but those would be the final points of the game for the Lady Pacers, as they went the final three minutes without a point, and fell by a final score of 70-48.

Along with outstanding games from Megan McCarty and Morgan Ross, Switzerland County got 12 points from Courtney Cole; and two points each from April Thieman, Tanya Sefton, and Maggie Armstrong.

Southwestern placed four players in double figures, led by Devin Brierly’s 15. Kendall Withered added 12 points; Sarah Roth had 11; and Sonja Bowyer contributed 10.

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The Lady Pacer jayvee team moved closer to the conference championship with a 33-30 victory over Southwestern.

Lindsay Scott led Switzerland County with 11 points; while Chelsea Peters had six points and Kristen Perry finished with five. Carrie Truax had four points; Jenna Daugherty had three; and Casey Sharp and Halie Smith had two points each.

The junior varsity can win the ORVC title outright with a victory over Madison Shawe in their final game tonight (Thursday) at Shawe. That game will begin at 6 p.m.