Lady Pacers pick up ORVC victory over Milan, 47-24

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Riding a three game winning streak, Coach Wayne Ellegood’s Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team opened its ORVC season on Tuesday night with a convincing 47-24 win over Milan.

The win came without the Lady Pacers having senior Kristen Perry, who missed the game due to illness.

The Lady Indians won the opening tip, but that was about all, as Switzerland County overcame some sloppy play to take command of the contest early. Hayley South opened the game with two straight buckets; and Trisha Smith followed that with a freethrow. When Bre Hinman connected moments later, Switzerland County held a 7-0 lead.

Milan finally got on the board at the 4:23 mark on a basket by Shelby Ross, but Bre Hinman connected again to extend the lead back to seven. Shelby Ross scored again to narrow the lead back to five, and then there was stoppage of play as Switzerland County coach Wayne Ellegood made a substitution.

Senior Raven Young was inadvertently left out of the official scorebook, so when she entered the game, the Lady Pacers were assessed a technical foul. Milan’s LeeAnna White made one of the freethrows to cut the lead down to four; and close the opening period with the Lady Pacers holding a 9-5 lead.

The second quarter opened with Lady Pacer Allie Mathews connecting for a basket; but Shelby Ross answered right back with a basket, but that would spark a Switzerland County offensive outburst, as Milan would only score one more point the entire quarter.

The Lady Pacers reeled off five straight points to push the lead to 16-7 on three freethrows by Trisha Smith and a basket by Kelly Kincaid; and after Milan temporarily stopped the run with a freethrow, Switzerland County went right back to work, scoring the final seven points of the quarter to close with a 23-8 halftime lead.

Trisha Smith fueled the run with two baskets inside; and Hayley South capped the scoring with a freethrow and a basket on the baseline that beat the halftime buzzer.

The Lady Pacers went to the halftime break feeling pretty good about themselves, but Coach Wayne Ellegood knew that his team was in danger of taking its opponent too lightly in the second half of play.

And that happened.

Milan came out of the halftime break pressuring Switzerland County defensively, forcing the Lady Pacers into several turnovers and other unforced errors. The Lady Indians, meanwhile, got their offense on track, scoring 12 points in the quarter to eight for Switzerland County.

The Lady Pacers, however, managed to score important baskets at critical junctures in the period, with Allie Mathews connecting for a basket; Hayley South scoring on a pair of freethrows and an inside bucket; and Kelly Kincaid capping the quarter with a jumper.

Milan managed to get within nine on several occasions during the quarter, but the Lady Indians were still outmatched – but their pressure defense was being effective.

After scoring just five points in the opening quarter, three points in the second period; and an optimistic 12 in the third stanza, Milan couldn’t get over the offensive hump in the final quarter, scoring just four points as Switzerland County turned up the defensive pressure of its own on its way to forcing numerous turnovers and converting them to easy baskets.

Kelly Kincaid opened the fourth quarter floodgates with a basket, followed by a jumper from Bre Hinman and a three-pointer by Becca Sittloh.

Trisha Smith followed that with a pair of inside baskets and a freethrow, and after Kelly Kincaid scored again, Hayley South capped the scoring with a pair of freethrows before Coach Ellegood cleared his bench for the final minutes of the game.

“We played down tonight a little bit to our competition,” Coach Ellegood said following the game. “Offensively we didn’t do the job very well.

Coach Ellegood said that it’s difficult to motivate a team at times because there was an obvious imbalance in the talent levels of the two teams.

“Our kids read the papers and they talk to players from other teams and they know that Milan is a little down right now,” the coach said. “But I have to give Milan credit. They played hard . We just weren’t into it and played a little out of sync.”

The game was a conference game because Switzerland County and Milan play each other only once during the season. If schools play twice, the second game is the one that counts in the conference standings.

“This was our only conference game in the first half of the season, so it was important for us,” Coach Ellegood said. “Our girls stepped up at the right time, but it’s a win and we’ll move on and try and get better. It’s what good teams do, they find a way to win games when they don’t play well.”

Hayley South and Trisha Smith led the Switzerland County scoring attack, each finishing with 13 points. Hayley South also had a game-high 14 rebounds in the contest to go along with four steals and three assists; while Trisha Smith also pulled down four rebounds.

Kelly Kincaid finished with eight points, six rebounds, three assists and six steals; Bre Hinman added six points, four rebounds, and five steals; Allie Mathews had four points; and Becca Sittloh had three points, two assists, and two steals.

Shelby Ross led Milan with 10 points.

The Lady Pacers now have the rest of the week off before returning to action this Tuesday at Lawrenceburg.

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In the junior varsity game, Switzerland County dispatched with Milan by a score of 36-9.

Emily White, Erika Coy and Ashley Watson each had eight points to lead the Lady Pacers; with Emily White also contributing three rebounded and three steals; and Erika Coy and Ashley Watson each pulled down five rebounds.

Mikayla Turner had seven points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals; Shelby O’Neal had three points and three steals; and Mercedes Parham had two points, four rebounds, three assists, and four steals.