The Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team put three players in double figures and put together a big fourth quarter run to claim its second victory of the young season on Friday night – a 54-49 decision over Rising Sun.
After a closely fought opening quarter that saw Switzerland County emerge with a 13-12 lead at the first break; Rising Sun fought back in the second quarter to win the period by a 16-15 mark and send both teams to the lockerroom tied at 28-28.
The third quarter remained a nail-biter, and when the third stanza ended, the Lady Shiners had inched out to a 40-38 advantage thanks to outscoring Switzerland County 12-10 in the period.
That set the stage for the final eight minutes and that’s when the Lady Pacers took control.
Switzerland County outscored their guests 16-9 over the final quarter, pulling away to that five point final cushion and reclaiming the “Ruler of the River” trophy that had resided in Rising Sun since the end of the last year’s basketball season.
“I am really proud of our girls especially in the home stretch,” head coach Ashley Chase said. “I didn’t think we started the game out well, but we finished the way we wanted to. We battled foul trouble and got beat on the boards, but those are two details that can be corrected in our time off between our next game against Milan.”
The win was also bittersweet for Lady Pacer senior Emily White.
One of the undisputed leaders of the team on and off the floor, Emily White knew when the season started she would only be able to play the first three games because she was in need of surgery for bone spurs on her heels. Recovery time for the surgery will sideline her for the remainder of the season.
On Friday night, she went out with a bang, finishing with 14 points including two three-pointers. She also had two steals.
“Emily White played her last game as a Lady Pacer tonight and I am really proud of her effort and leadership,” Coach Chase said. “She ended the game with 14 points for us and did a lot on both ends of the court.”
The key to the Switzerland County win was balanced play from every combination that the coaching staff put out on the floor; and also the Lady Pacers got some key contributions from its younger players – contributions that will be needed through the rest of the season without Emily White on the floor.
“Our freshmen stepped up at the end of the game and made some clutch free throws for us and that’s what big time players do,” Ashley Chase said. “I have ten unselfish players that are working together and buying in to our philosophy. I really like our odds when our girls do those two things together.”
Freshman Kelsi Konkle also finished with 14 points to tie for team-high honors; and freshman Brooke Todd made it three Lady Pacers in double figures, as she finished with 10.
Mercedes Parham finished with six points; Eve Galbreath had five; Makenzie Mathews added four; and Bre Ricketts chipped in one.
Sydney Willhite led Rising Sun with 11 points; and Sydney Elliott was also in double figures, finishing with 10.
Switzerland County now stands at 2-1 on the season, and returns to action next Tuesday following the Thanksgiving break when they hit the road for the first time in traveling to Milan.