After seven straight road games, the Switzerland County Pacer varsity basketball team finally came home for its regular season finale last Friday night against Madison – but the home cooking wasn’t kind to the Pacers.
Switzerland County struggled through a frigid shooting effort on the night – connecting on just 26.7-percent of its shots – in falling to the Cubs by a final score of 61-33. It was the lowest offensive output by the Pacers all season.
Things didn’t get started on a good foot, as Madison, paced by Division I recruit Dida Ikongshul, raced out to a 16-2 first period lead. Ikongshul had eight of those points; while the Pacers got a bucket from Casper Stow over the first six minutes of play.
Switzerland County did respond near the end of the period, getting a freethrow from Zach Whitaker; and when he missed the second, Justin Green grabbed the offensive rebound and Stow hit another basket to close the quarter with Madison in front, 16-5.
The second stanza was better offensively for the Pacers, as Switzerland County hit for 13 points; but Madison got its outside game going in the period, with Cubs hitting four three-pointers over the eight minute span.
Ikongshul got the quarter off and running with another inside basket; and Caleb Furnish followed that with a three-pointer for Switzerland County. Daniel Anderson hit a three-pointer for the Cubs; and Whitaker matched that with a long range bomb for the Pacers. Kyle Whitham, playing outstanding minutes off of the bench for Coach Adam Dennis at key points in the season, drilled a baseline jumper that cut the lead down to eight, 21-13, with just over four minutes to play.
The Cubs fired back, getting two straight three-pointers from Anderson and Brayden Perry; and after Stow scored with a short runner in the lane; Ikongshul scored inside and Perry followed that with another three-pointer to push the lead to 17.
Furnish converted a pair of freethrows to stop the run; but Ikongshul came right back with another inside basket.
With 27-seconds to play in the half, Ikongshul got hit with a technical foul after he disagreed with a referee’s call; and when Furnish made one of the two following freethrows, the team went to the halftime break with Madison in front by a score of 34-18.
The third quarter saw another cold shooting effort for Switzerland County, as the Pacers managed just six points – three-pointers by Furnish and Whitham – in the period.
Madison had 13 points over the same span, but the fatal run came with 2:47 to go, as the Cubs reeled off eight straight points to grab control, 47-24, with just one regular season quarter to play.
The cold streak continued in the final quarter – Switzerland County would score in double figures in only one of the four periods played – as the Pacers would accumulate just nine more points on their way to a 28-point loss.
Austin South kicked off the quarter with a basket; and after Anderson followed that with a bucket; Furnish scored from the wing. Ikongshul then took over again, scoring two straight times in the lane; and then South responded for the Pacers, scoring on a jumper and following that with a three-pointer, but that only got Switzerland County back to within 20, 53-33, with 4:28 to go.
And those would be the final points scored in the game for the Pacers.
Madison closed the game eight straight points; and the Pacers wrapped their regular season and limp into Sectional play after a 61-33 defeat. Switzerland County finished the season with an overall record of 7-15.
Furnish was the lone Pacer in double figures, finishing with 11 points, and he also had two rebounds and two assists. South had seven points in the game; while Stow finished with six points, two rebounds and two assists. Whitham had five points and three rebounds; and Whitaker added four points and two rebounds.
Anderson led Madison with 21 points; while Ikongshul finished with 20. The Cubs finished the season with an overall record of 10-12.
The junior varsity team capped an outstanding season with a 71-52 victory over Madison.
Andrew Youngblood led the Pacers with 18 points, and he also had seven assists and four rebounds. Zack Wainscott had 17 points, nine rebounds and two assists; and Kyle Whitham added 16 points, six rebounds, and three assists.
Tyler Konkle had eight points and six rebounds; Dalton Tingle had five points; Austin South had five points and four rebounds; and Justin Chatham had two points and four rebounds. Other team members include: Kenyon Bledsoe, Mike Gatto, and Tyler Perry.
The season wraps for the jayvee Pacers with an overall record of 19-3, which is a school record for most wins in a season by a junior varsity team. The Pacers were co-champions of the ORVC with a 5-1 conference record; and were the champions of the Rivertown Classic tournament.
Mark Boggs is the team’s coach.