There’s a saying in football: “Offense wins games. Defense wins championships.”
Apply that to the opening of the Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball season on Tuesday night at Southwestern, and Coach Ashley Kitts has a squad that could be in line for a really, really great season.
On Tuesday night, the Lady Pacer defense, fueled by a shutdown performance by Kelsi Konkle on Southwestern star Debbie Hardy, controlled the game from the opening tip. Switzerland County held the Lady Rebels scoreless in the first quarter, while Eve Galbreath had five points and Kelsi Konkle added four to see the Lady Pacers open up a 9-0 lead after the first eight minutes.
The defense continued to dominate into the second quarter, as Southwestern would not score until Allison Bushong hit a three-pointer with just 25-seconds to play before halftime.
Switzerland County continued its strong offensive performance, scoring nine more points in the second quarter. Eve Galbreath had four points in the period; Brooke Todd added three; and sophomore Taylar Jordan contributed two points.
At the half, Switzerland County led Southwestern by an 18-3 count.
The third quarter saw the Lady Rebels score a bit more, adding eight points; but Switzerland County was able to extend its lead on the strength of six points from Eve Galbreath and five from Brooke Todd.
As Southwestern’s fans tried to get their team back into the game, Switzerland County was extending its lead and coping well with the Lady Rebel press.
After three, Switzerland County held a 29-11 advantage; and the game was well in hand.
The fourth quarter saw more offense for both squads, as the Lady Pacers racked up 20 more points in the closing stanza; while Southwestern added 14 more. Coach Kitts substituted liberally in the final period; with most regulars sitting down for good for the final three minutes of play.
Eve Galbreath added nine more points to her total before taking a seat; and Brooke Todd contributed another seven before sitting down. Kelsi Konkle and Hope Tankersley each added two points in the period, and the blowout was complete.
Final score: Switzerland County 49, Southwestern 25.
Eve Galbreath led all scorers with 24 points on the evening, and made it a double-double by adding 11 rebounds.
Brooke Todd had 15 points, six rebounds and six assists on the evening; Kelsi Konkle had six points and six rebounds; and Taylar Jordan and Hope Tankersley each chipped in two points.
Hailee Lay had three rebounds and three assists on the night; Makenzie Mathews had six rebounds; and Whitley Schirmer had four rebounds.
But the story of the night was the defensive effort the Kelsi Konkle provided on Southwestern’s Debbie Hardy. The Lady Rebel senior had only two points in the game, and those came from the freethrow line. The defense was so tight, in fact, that she only managed to attempt two shots in the entire contest.
Southwestern was led by Kelsi Brierly with eight points; and Allison Bushong added seven.
Switzerland County now comes home for two big games this weekend.
Madison comes to call tomorrow (Friday) night; and then on Saturday the South Dearborn Lady Knights come to Vevay for what is always a battle. The junior varsity games both nights begin and 6 p.m.; and Coach Kitts and the team are hoping for big crowds both games, so make plans now to come out and support the Lady Pacers.
In the junior varsity game on Tuesday night, Switzerland County defeated Southwestern by a final score of 49-34.
It was a historic game of sorts for the two teams, as new IHSAA rules this season have junior varsity teams playing seven minute quarters rather than the six minute stanzas they have played in the past.
Leading Switzerland County was Mallory Phagan with 13 points; while Ashley Peelman had 11 points and Hope Tankersley finished with nine.
Jody Breeck had six points; Emerson Schroer had four; and Bre Braun, Whitley Schirmer, and Riley King each chipped in two points.