Lady Pacers open Sectional play with new opponent on Tuesday

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The Switzerland County Lady Pacers will enter play in the Lawrenceburg Class 2A Sectional this Tuesday night when the tournament takes on a new look with a new team.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association realigned sectionals after last season, and in a surprise move Hauser High School was added to make a seven-team sectional.

Hauser High School is located in Hope, Indiana, near Greensburg, and the Lady Jets are currently 11-8 on the year with a final regular season game set for tomorrow (Friday) at Southwestern Shelby.

Members of the Mid-Hoosier Conference, Hauser and Switzerland County share several opponents on their respective schedules.

Hauser defeated Milan 54-32; lost to Jac-Cen-Del 57-49; defeated South Decatur 48-40; and also defeated Oldenburg Academy 50-33.

Switzerland County also defeated Milan; but lost in overtime to both Oldenburg Academy and South Decatur. The Lady Pacers also lost to Jac-Cen-Del in a three-point thriller.

“I think it’s a pretty good draw for us,” Lady Pacer head coach Wayne Ellegood said. “We play a pretty good team, but maybe that’s what we need to have. We need to just go to Lawrenceburg and play hard.”

The Lady Pacers have struggled down the stretch of the season, falling in six of their last eight games. Switzerland County closes its regular season tonight (Thursday) when they travel to Madison Shawe.

With the new tourney format, the Switzerland County-Hauser game is the only game on Tuesday night, and will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday night’s games will feature North Decatur and Milan; followed by Southwestern and South Ripley. Lawrenceburg will play Tuesday’s winner in the first game on Friday; followed by Wednesday’s winners. The two semifinal victors then square off on Saturday night for the tournament title.

“We’re in the opposite bracket from Southwestern, and I think all the teams wanted that,” Coach Ellegood said. “Southwestern is the odds on favorite. If they get beat they have to play down a little bit and someone has to really step up.”

And the Lady Pacer coach has confidence in his squad that – if given the opportunity to play the Lady Rebels again – they might just surprise some people.

“I think if we had done some things right at certain times in Tuesday night’s game with them, we’d have been right there with them at the end,” Wayne Ellegood said.

The Lady Pacers also haven’t played North Decatur this year, and the Lady Chargers are also 11-8 with a game remaining at Oldenburg Academy tonight (Thursday).

North Decatur is a young team that’s very capable of playing well at times,” Coach Ellegood said. “They’re up and down, kind of like us.”

Should Switzerland County get past Hauser, Friday’s match up with Lawrenceburg seems to be a good one, as the Lady Tigers are 3-14 on the year and fell to Switzerland County by a 52-38 count in January.

But all sights are currently set on the Lady Jets.

“We’re finding out more about them all the time,” the Pacer coach said. “They’re fairly young and maybe a little bigger than us. I think it’s a game that’s a pretty even game. We saw them play South Decatur earlier in the year, so we know a little bit about them.”

The other two teams in the tournament are familiar foes to Switzerland County; as the Lady Pacers defeated Milan early in the year; and split two games with South Ripley during the season.

The Lady Raiders face the tough task of dealing with Southwestern on Wednesday night, but South Ripley is big inside, and may cause some problems if they can deal with the Lady Rebel pressure.

“Overall I think this is going to be a good sectional,” Wayne Ellegood said. “We’re looking forward to getting started.”

The winner of the Lawrenceburg Sectional will advance to the Batesville Regional, where they will face the winner of the Elwood Sectional.

The other bracket at Batesville with feature the winner at the Heritage Christian Sectional and the Cambridge City Lincoln Sectional.

Lapel, standing at 19-2 overall, is the clear favorite in the Elwood Sectional; while the Heritage Christian Sectional figures to see the 19-1 host Lady Eagles emerge heading toward another state title.

Southwestern is also state ranked at 17-5 and looking for revenge against Heritage Christian; and the Cambridge City Lincoln Sectional also has a strong field, led by the host school, with the Lady Golden Eagles cominginto tournament play at 16-3. Cambridge City lost to Southwestern during the Lady Rebels holiday tournament by a 52-51 score.

All of that makes for what could be one of the most powerful regionals in the state.