Coming off of a season opening victory over South Dearborn the night before, Switzerland County played the middle game of a three game — three night opening spree against a tough Madison squad on Friday night.
Switzerland County held tough throughout the contest, but a icy final quarter shooting doomed the Lady Pacers, who fell by a score of 51-33.
Much of that 18 point deficit came in the closing eight minutes of play, where Madison outscored their hosts by a 16-2 tally to earn the victory.
Switzerland County fell behind early, training 17-10 after the opening period.
Nora Hankins had a strong opening quarter with four points; while Keirstan Oeffinger had a three-pointer; Maddie Duvall had a basket; and Jessie Duvall contributed a freethrow.
Madison was led in the opening quarter by its All State candidate Jade Nutley (who has many Switzerland County relatives, including her mom, Lynn Bovard Nutley, who once starred for the Lady Pacers while she was in high school). Nutley had eight of Madison’s 17 first quarter points, and proved to be a handful for Switzerland County to control all night long.
Down seven, the Lady Pacers began to claw their way back as the second quarter got underway. Switzerland County would outscore Madison by a 12-9 score over the second eight minute span, narrowing the gap to 26-22 at the halftime break.
Balance was the word of the night for Switzerland County in the second quarter, as five different players scored in the period, including Oeffinger, Maddie Duvall, and Jessie Duvall all connecting on three-pointers. Hankins had another bucket in the quarter, and Hannah Hayes converted a freethrow.
Coming out of the halftime break, the third quarter was dead even, as both teams scored nine points each — allowing Madison to maintain its four point lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Hankins took control of the Lady Pacer offense in the third, scoring eight of Switzerland County’s nine points; while Maddie Duvall provided the freethrow to round out the scoring.
With the game in the balance, the final period saw Switzerland County’s offense go stone cold, with a basket by Jessie Duvall being the only points that the Lady Pacers could muster.
Madison, by contrast, had 16 points in the same period — 14 of those by Nutley. That wide final stanza proved to be the margin of a game much closer than the final score indicated.
Hankins was outstanding, finishing with 14 points to lead Switzerland County, while Oeffinger, Jessie Duvall, and Maddie Duvall each had six points apiece. Hayes added the other point.
Nutley led Madison with 31 points in the contest.