As the boys basketball season heads into the meat of its schedule, Coach Adam Dennis’ Switzerland County Pacers are riding timely shooting and a shut down defense to a solid season, and that combination rang true again on Friday night as the Pacers shut down Rising Sun by a score of 56-34 to earn a Homecoming victory in front of a capacity crowd.
In their past three games – all wins – the Switzerland County defense is allowing an average of just over 35 points per game to their opponents – 42 to Southwestern; 30 to South Ripley; and 34 to Rising Sun – while the offense has been generating just over 53 points per contest.
As it is with all games against rival Rising Sun, Friday night’s game was a tough, nip and tuck battle, with the Pacers moving out to an 8-5 lead after the first quarter. Kollin Hayes had two field goals in the opening stanza; while Casper Stow had a bucket and Hunter Hayes converted two freethrows.
The Shiners got a three-pointer from sharpshooter Noah Pflum, and Tristan Brown and Brent Turner each added a freethrow.
The second quarter is where the Pacers began to pull away, outscoring their guests by a 17-4 count, with most of the damage being done in the final four minutes of the quarter. Switzerland County’s Dakota Fuller put the capper on the half when he hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, making the score 25-9 in favor of Switzerland County.
Fuller added a field goal in the period for five points total; while Kollin Hayes had another four points. Tyler Konkle also had four points in the quarter; while Austin South and Hunter Hayes each chipped in a basket.
Angelo Gallegos accounted for all of the Rising Sun scoring in the quarter, hitting a three-pointer and adding a freethrow.
Switzerland County again added to its lead after the halftime break, outscoring the Shiners 14-7 in the third stanza. The third quarter was highlighted by the inside work of Hunter Hayes and Justin Green, as each of them had six points in the period working in the paint. Stow had the other bucket, and the lead stood at 23 – 39-16 – at the end of three quarters of play.
In that third period, Rising Sun got five points from Nick Koons on a three-pointer and a field goal; and Brown had the other basket.
Rising Sun didn’t fade in the final quarter, as the Shiners continued to fight for possessions and points. The visitors outscored the homestanding Pacers in that final eight minutes by an 18-17 count, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the slow pace of the first three stanzas.
In that final quarter, Switzerland County was led by Kyle Whitham with five points; South and Zach Wainscott each had four; Fuller had two; and Damian Breeck had two freethrows.
In what might have been the most balanced game of the season, Switzerland County saw 10 different players score in the game.
The fourth quarter saw Turner lead the way for Rising Sun with five points; while Wesley Rider had four; Jake Powell hit a three-pointer; and Pflum, Jason McClellan, and Trenton Gridley each had a field goal..
Rising Sun also showed scoring balance, as nine different Shiners scored for Coach Chris Jones’ team.
Final score: Switzerland County 56, Rising Sun 34.
Hunter Hayes was the leading scorer for Switzerland County with 10 points; while Kollin Hayes had eight; Fuller had seven; South and Green had six each; Whitham had five; Stow, Wainscott, and Konkle each had four; and Breeck had two.
Rising Sun was led by Turner with six; with Koons and Pflum having five each; Gallegos and Rider had four each; Brown and Powell each had three; and McClellan and Gridley had two each.
In the junior varsity game, Switzerland County defeated Rising Sun 50-39.
For the Pacers, Cade Rider was the leading scorer with 15 points; while Tyler Konkle was in double figures with 12 points.
Landon Wilks had seven; Justin Chatham had six; Damian Breeck had four; and Dalton Tingle, Kenyon Bledsoe, and Tyler Perry each had two.
Rising Sun saw Trevor Levi and Jake Powell lead the way with 10 points each; wile Wesley Rider and Mark McClellan each had six; Doug Pedraza had three; and Steven Jimenez and T.J. Manifeld each contributed two points.