After jumping out to an early lead in Tuesday night’s ORVC contest versus Jac-Cen-Del, the Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team struggled to find offensive consistency, and after staging a frantic rally to retake the lead in the final minute of the game; the Lady Pacers just couldn’t hang on, as a late three-pointer by Emily Einhaus led to a 52-49 victory for the Lady Eagles.
The loss spoiled the return of junior Ashley Chase to the lineup. The forward had sat out the past three games to rest an injured knee, and early on she worked to get back into a playing mode. It didn’t take long, as she finished with a team-high 22 points and was the focus of the Lady Eagle defense all night long.
After opening the game with a 7-2 lead, Switzerland County would go nearly six minutes without a basket, with Jaclyn Ranz’s bucket with seven seconds to play made the score 11-9 in favor of the visitors at the first break.
Switzerland County’s defense also had to deal with Jac-Cen-Del shooter Janelle Hardesty, who accounted for 15 of her team’s 23-points in the first half. The Lady Pacers had better luck with her in the second half, limiting her to just seven points over the last two quarters.
The Lady Pacers missed some easy inside baskets early, and that seemed to get the squad out of its rhythm in the first half. Still, thanks to late buckets by Brittany Cole and Ashley Chase and a late-second three-pointer by Ashley Bright, Switzerland County went to the lockerroom down by just one, 23-22.
The third period was a see-saw battle, with both teams taking short-lived leads only to see the other team bounce back in front.
Switzerland County got ahead by four on five straight points by Ashley Chase; but Jac-Cen-Del came right back with four straight points to tie the contest with a minute to play.
Ashley Bright then drilled another three-pointer and Brittany Cole got free inside for a layup, and the third quarter ended with Switzerland County out in front, 38-33.
The fourth quarter saw Jac-Cen-Del pull back into the lead on a strong effort by Emily Einhaus, and with a minute to play the Lady Eagles held a 47-45 lead.
Switzerland County’s Jaclyn Ranz went to the line with a chance to tie the game, but missed the first of two freethrows. After making the second, the Lady Pacers went into a press, and after Jaclyn Ranz stole the ball, she found Ashley Chase racing to the bucket for a layup and a 48-47 lead.
Switzerland County then got the ball back, and were running time off of the clock when a pileup at center court led to possession going back to Jac-Cen-Del. The Lady Eagles tried to inbound the ball, but Ashley Chase blocked the pass right back to Emily Einhaus, who caught it out of bounds, giving the ball back to the Lady Pacers.
Forced to foul, Jac-Cen-Del got Ashley Chase, but the junior only managed to make one freethrow, pushing Switzerland County out in front by just two points with 27-seconds to play.
Jac-Cen-Del looked for an opening for Janelle Hardesty to get a shot, but when she couldn’t get free, Emily Einhaus launched a three-pointer with 18-seconds left that found the range and put the Lady Eagles back in front.
A rattled Switzerland County team tried to regain its composure, but threw a pass out of bounds, giving the ball back to Jac-Cen-Del. Two Emily Einhaus freethrows sealed the Lady Pacers’ fate, 52-49.
Along with Ashley Chase’s 22 points; Jaclyn Ranz finished with 13 points; Ashley Bright added six; and Brittany Cole and Kodi Driver had four each.
In the junior varsity game, Switzerland County defeated Jac-Cen-Del by a score of 33-28.
Courtney Cole led the team with 10 points; Tanya Sefton added eight; Amanda Hon had seven; and April Thieman contributed four. Megan McCarty and Jennifer South each finished with two.