The Switzerland County Lady Pacers opened play in the Rivertown Classic Basketball Tournament last Wednesday night with a 57-50 victory over Lawrenceburg.
The win was fueled by a huge game from junior Makenzie Mathews, who had 14 first half points on her way to 18 for the game, propelling the Lady Pacers into the championship game of the tourney.
The game got off to a fast start, as Switzerland County scored 12 points while the Lady Tigers managed eight.
Makenzie Mathews had two three-pointers in the opening quarter; while Eve Galbreath had two baskets inside and Kelsi Konkle drilled a baseline jumper.
Lawrenceburg got a pair of freethrows from Josie Denton; two freethrows and a basket from Ashlee Miller; and a bucket from Riley Brunner to account for their scoring.
Makenzie Mathews stayed hot as the second quarter got underway, hitting another three-pointer and a jumper to extend the Switzerland County lead to nine, 17-8.
Lawrenceburg clawed back, getting a three-pointer from Amber Ricketts and a basket from Riley Brunner to close the gap to four; and Switzerland County suffered a blow when senior center Eve Galbreath was hit with her second foul of the half and had to take a seat for the remainder of the second quarter.
Lawrenceburg continued to fight back, getting two more freethrows from Ashlee Miller that closed the deficit to two; but that’s when the Lady Pacers made a run.
Whitley Schirmer kicked things off with a runner in the lane; and that was followed by a basket and a freethrow from Brooke Todd and Makenzie Mathews hitting her fourth three-pointer of the half. That streak swelled the lead to 10 at 25-15; and left the Lady Tiger reeling.
After a Lawrenceburg timeout, the Lady Tigers got baskets from Hailey Knippenberg and Riley Brunner; but Brooke Todd made two freethrows, and the teams went to the lockerroom with Switzerland County in front by a score of 27-19.
Eve Galbreath opened the third quarter with an inside basket that again pushed the lead to 10; but seconds later was whistled for her third personal foul, again sending her to a seat on the bench next to head coach Ashley Kitts. Paxton Parris made both freethrows off of that foul; but Lady Pacer Taylar Jordan hit a jumper from the baseline to keep Lawrenceburg at bay.
Josie Denton had a basket, but Makenzie Mathews got a key rebound and put back basket to counter that. After Josie Denton scored again, Brooke Todd matched that; and then Josie Denton made her third straight bucket for the Lady Tigers.
Up for eight, Coach Kitts called timeout and reinserted Eve Galbreath back into the lineup, and the move paid immediate dividends, as the senior ignited a run of six straight points with an inside jumper. Makenzie Mathews followed that with a bucket, and Hailee Lay capped the run to pushed Switzerland County out to a 14-point lead, 41-27.
Whitley Schirmer and Brooke Todd each had baskets in the closing minutes of the third period, and Lawrenceburg got a three-pointer from Hailey Knippenberg at the buzzer to make the score 45-34 in favor of the Lady Pacers with a period to go.
Eve Galbreath opened the final stanza with a bucket; but Lawrenceburg went on a run of seven straight points thanks to Paxton Parris and Josie Denton, and with 4:35 to go the Lady Pacer lead was down to six, 47-41.
Brooke Todd scored to stop that run; but Ashlee Miller came right back with a basket for Lawrenceburg and Josie Denton followed that with two freethrows that brought the lead down to four.
With 1:32 to go, Kelsi Konkle hit a huge jumper that stopped the Lady Tiger run, but Riley Brunner came right back with an inside basket to keep the outcome in doubt.
Eve Galbreath scored with a minute to go and extended the lead up to six, and Brooke Todd followed that with a freethrow at the 28-second mark.
Up seven, the Lady Pacer defense didn’t hold, and Ashlee Miller connected on a three-pointer for Lawrenceburg, and with 22-second left the lead was again whittled down to four.
The Lady Tigers couldn’t get any closer, however, as Brooke Todd hit two more freethrows in crunch time, and Hailee Lady made a freethrow to seal the win, and the final buzzer sounded with Switzerland County in front, 57-50.
Makenzie Mathews led Switzerland County with 18 points; while Brooke Todd had 14 and Eve Galbreath finished with 12.
Kelsi Konkle and Whitley Schirmer each contributed four points; Hailee Lay had three; and Taylar Jordan chipped in two.
Ashlee Miller led Lawrenceburg with 13 points; Josie Denton had 12; and Riley Brunner finished with 10.