The Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team, suffering through a four-game losing streak, snuffed that out last Thursday night with a 47-40 win over Oldenburg Academy.
The Lady Pacers used a steady offense and some strong defense to claim the win, the team’s fourth on the season.
Switzerland County broke out of the gate hot, getting a basket by Aleiah Thomas, a steal and a layup by Thomas, and a jumper from Calleigh Powell to grab a 6-0 lead,
Oldenburg answered with a three-pointer and a basket by Katie Kinker to close to within one; but the Lady Pacers got a pair of freethrows by Jody Breeck and a three-pointer by Lexi Lay to go up by six. Again Kinker answered for the Lady Twisters with a three-pointer; but Lay came right back with a bucket to make the score 13-8.
Oldenburg then made a run, getting two freethrows by Claire Hollingsworth, another three-pointer by Kinker, and a freethrow from Sydney Bauman to hold a 14-13 lead with 1:46 to go in an exciting opening period. Lay pushed Switzerland County back in front with two freethrows; but a basket by Hollingsworth at the buzzer pushed Oldenburg in front by a score of 16-15 at the first rest.
Kinker kept up her hot shooting in the second quarter, opening the period with a three-pointer; but the Lady Pacers got a basket by Jaelyn Hemingway and a three-pointer by Lay to grab a 20-19 advantage. A three-pointer by Harlee Masavage again gave Oldenburg the lead; but Thomas tied the game with a runner at the 1:55 mark. Oldenburg then got a basket by Hanna Hurm and a three-pointer by Kinker to make the lead five; and the half ended with Lay making two freethrows for Switzerland County, which closed the gap to three, 27-24 at the halftime break.
Coming out of the half, Powell opened the scoring with a basket; and after Hurm made a three-pointer, again Powell answered with a basket from the baseline. Hurm then converted a freethrow to keep the Lady Twisters in front by three; but that sparked a big run by Switzerland County, who got two buckets by Breeck and a basket by Thomas to move out to a 35-31 advantage. Oldenburg got a basket by Masavage to make the score 35-33 in favor of Switzerland County with a quarter to play.
Missing from the scoring column in the third quarter for Oldenburg was Kinker, who was shut down offensively thanks to strong defense by Powell and help from her teammates.
Lay opened the final stanza with a three-pointer that increased the lead to five; and after Masavage hit a freethrow, Lay hit a freethrow and Thomas followed that with a basket, making the score 41-34 with just over two minutes to play.
Kinker finally got into the second half scoring column with a basket with 1:43 to go; but McKenli Scudder matched that with a jumper from the elbow. Kinker then converted a three-point play with a minute to go that was Powell’s fifth and final foul; and after the surprised look on Powell’s face, the referee assessed a technical foul on the junior. It didn’t matter, as Kinker missed both of those freethrow attempts; and after the Lady Pacers failed to convert on the offensive end, Masavage made a freethrow to draw the Lady Twisters to within three.
But Switzerland County was clutch at the freethrow line in the game’s final minute, getting two charities from Lay and two more from Breeck to seal the win, 47-40.
Lay led Switzerland County with 18 points on the night, including three three-pointers; and Thomas was in double figures, as she finished with 10. Breeck had nine points; Powell added six; and Scudder and Hemingway each had two.
Kinker led Oldenburg with 22 points – 17 of those in the first half – while Masavage had seven and Hurm added six.
In the junior varsity game, Switzerland County earned a 41-36 win.
Jacey Peelman was the leading scorer for the Lady Pacers with 12 points; while Josie Meyer had 11. Brooke Clark had six points; Jaelyn Hemingway had five; Calleigh Powell had three; and Emma Sullivan and Keirstan Oeffinger each added two.