Lady Pacers suffer overtime loss to South Ripley in hard-fought, physical game, 51-48

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After falling behind early and spending the rest of regulation fighting to get back into the game, the Switzerland County Lady Pacers basketball team lost in overtime to South Ripley on Tuesday night 51-48.

After the Lady Pacer pressure got Switzerland County even, the Lady Pacers had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but a steal by Ashley Chase couldn’t be converted into points, and as time ran out the four minute overtime period started with a score of 44-44.

The Lady Pacers got the tip off and Ashley Chase went up for a shot that rolled around and out. South Ripley rebounded and went down the court to score a three-pointer to make the score 47-44.

Then with 2:24 left in the period, Amber Smith made a shot for two points that narrowed the lead to a single point, 47-46.

The Lady Pacers again took the ball away from the Lady Raiders, only to be called for a double dribble violation that turned the ball over to the Lady Raiders.

With two minutes left in overtime, Lady Raider Clara McGuire scored two points taking the lead up to 49-46. South Ripley then called a time out.

The Pacers came back from the time out with April Thieman scoring two points and closing the gap within one with a score 49-48 and a minute left in overtime.

South Ripley tried to play a game of keep away in an attempt to run out the clock, and that strategy caused Lady Pacer April Thieman to get hit with her fifth foul trying to get the ball away from the Lady Raiders. Time left on the clock stood at 28-seconds when April Thieman fouled out.

After South Ripley inbounded the ball off of the foul, the Lady Raiders attempted to hold onto their lead, but missed on a shot attempt that gave the Lady Pacers another chance.

With the Lady Pacers in possession, South Ripley fouled with :07.4 seconds left. With Switzerland County scrambling to try and take the lead, the Lady Pacers couldn’t convert, and with just two seconds remaining possession changed once again back to the Lady Raiders, who ended the overtime period scoring two points on a break away layup, ending the game, 51-48.

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The game had ended and started out close with the first quarter ending tied 7-7, as the first three minutes of the game went by without the Lady Pacers scoring.

The Lady Raiders weren’t doing much better, only scoring once for two points in the first minutes of the game. With about four minutes to go in the first quarter Ashley Chase scored two points and so did Ashley Bright; but that was followed with the Lady Raiders scoring three more points.

With a minute and a half to go in the period Natalie Daugherty added two points of her own. Ashley Chase also added a point from the free throw line. The Raiders ended the period by adding two more points finishing the period tied 7-7.

The Lady Raiders started out the second quarter scoring two points, and South Ripley then went to the foul line four times in a row. That resulted in the Lady Raiders adding eight points in foul shots — giving them a 17-7 lead.

With 4:55 left in the period, Ashley Chase added two points to cut into the lead; but the defense couldn’t hold, as the Lady Raiders came downcourt and added two more of their own.

Switzerland County’s Amber Smith then went to the foul line and hit one of her two shots. The Lady Raiders came back again with a two point shot to make the score 21-10. Ashley Chase then hit a nice three pointer and Natalie Daugherty followed with two points of her own to cut the lead to six, but the Lady Raiders then added two more points of their own; ending the half out in front by a score of 23-17.

During the third quarter both teams would score 13 points each. Ashley Chase started by scoring a three pointer with in the first minute of the period. Ashley Bright followed and scored two points.

The fourth quarter started out with April Thieman hitting one of two of her foul shots. Lady Raider Beth Thieman then scored two points to bring the score to 38-35 with the Lady Raiders out front.

With 4:34 left in regulation, Amber Smith hit two of her own and added one from the foul line tying up the score 38-38; but the Lady Raiders responded by adding two more of their own from the foul line give them a 40-38 lead.

Ashley Chase then went to the foul line and converted one of her two foul shots to cut the lead to a single point, 40-39; but the hot-shooting Lady Raiders again hit a basket for two more points to extend the lead back to three.

Ashley Chase was an offensive force throughout the game, and as time wound down and Switzerland County needed points, they turned to their senior leader. Working inside against multiple defenders, she was fouled and sent back to the line, where she again connected on one of two foul shots to make the score 42-40.

As the clock went below three minutes to play in the game, the Lady Raiders connected for two more points before Natalie Daugherty matched that with two of her own.

With 2:29 left in the fourth quarter Ashley Chase made a nice pass on the inside to Amber Smith who converted for two tying the score 44-44.

With both teams desperately trying to get the ball to score and take the win, each had opportunities, but couldn’t convert. The Lady Pacer pressure defense was matched by South Ripley, but neither could convert their defensive pressure into an offensive score.

Switzerland County’s last chance in overtime came with just :33.3 left to go, but the Lady Pacers threw the ball away, giving possession back to the Lady Raiders.

That led to the Ashley Chase steal and shot at the buzzer, and the game headed into overtime.

The leading scorer for the Lady Pacers was Ashley Chase with 22 points; while Amber Smith was also in double figures with 10. Ashley Bright added seven points; and Natalie Daugherty had six. April Thieman chipped in three.

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The junior varsity girls also had a close game but ended with a loss 30-27. Megan McCarty led with seven points and Shauna Todd had six points. Lauren Chase and Karista Wengert added four points each; while Katie Rayls, Tanya Sefton and Amber Smith all chipped in two each.

— Debi Sefton