The Switzerland County Lady Pacers finished their first season with an overall record of 14-7. Tomorrow (Friday) night at Southwestern High School, Coach Wayne Ellegood and his troops will take the floor against the Milan Lady Indians to begin the second season.
After drawing the bye game in the Southwestern Sectional tournament; the two teams will play at approximately 7:30 p.m., following the first semifinal game that features Southwestern and South Ripley.
Switzerland County and Milan have played only once this season, when the Lady Pacers traveled to Milan on November 30th and returned with a 57-34 victory.
The win came after a physical battle by both teams, and Coach Ellegood is expecting the same type of action when the two squads tip off sectional play tomorrow night.
“They play hard and they play physical basketball,” Coach Ellegood said. “They’re going to battle us to the very end, there’s no question about that. We’re not taking anything for granted. Milan is a physical basketball team.”
Back in November, Switzerland County jumped out to a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter, and then steadily built on that lead throughout the game.
Switzerland County played the final period of that game without senior Holly Jackson, who took a blow to the head in the third period and did not return to action.
The game also saw Jaclyn Ranz begin to step into the spotlight, as she had 10 points and six assists in the contest — a game her coach called her “best of the season” following the final whistle.
Ashley Chase was her usual dominant self that night, finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three blocked shots, and two steals.
As of Tuesday night, the Lady Pacer coaching staff is hoping for a replay of that performance tomorrow night — but a reoccurring may temper those hopes.
Coach Ellegood revealed that the junior forward reinjured her knee during practice on Monday. Ashley Chase originally hurt the knee during the “Rumble on the River” tournament at Southwestern on New Year’s Eve, and has been playing through pain and discomfort ever since.
“Ashley did hurt her knee again last night,” the Lady Pacer coach confirmed on Tuesday. “We’re still battling that. I think she’ll play on Friday. How serious the injury is, we just don’t know.”
Coach Ellegood said that Ashley Chase injured the knee in practice, and that she has had it looked at by a therapist. Knowing his star player as he does — he’s also her neighbor — the coach thinks she will be ready to answer the bell Friday night.
“I don’t think it’s anything different than what we’ve already been battling,” Coach Ellegood said. “She just tweaked it again. It’s probably something that’s not going to get better until the season is over with, We’ll just have to live with it.”
Single session tickets will be on sale tomorrow and Saturday night’s at the door of the Southwestern gym. Tickets for the entire sectional that were on sale at the high school office have now been returned.