Pacer overcome a slow first half to earn a Homecoming win over Spartans, 54-47

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The Switzerland County Pacers overcame a slow first half with a strong second stanza that fueled a big comeback in a physical battle with the Southwestern Shelby Spartans and earned the Pacers a 54-47 Homecoming victory.

The Pacers trailed by two points at the end of the first quarter 12-10, as the Pacer team appeared sluggish and out of sync with its offensive plan. Defensively, Switzerland County gave up some easy baskets inside to the Spartans, but even into the second quarter, the Pacers were playing well enough to stay close to their guests. Both teams headed to the locker room with Switzerland County trailing by a score of 28-25.

“The other team out played us in the first half,” Coach Brian Bowen said. “I believe it is the first time I have ever said this about our team. The second half, we had more energy and excitement in the team.”

The Pacers did not let the homecoming crowd down coming out of the break, as they kept up with the Spartans basket for basket, as both teams added 12 points in the third quarter to their totals.

With one quarter to play, the Pacers still trailed by three points, 40-37.

Cliff Meyer opened the fourth quarter with a basket that got Switzerland County to within one of the Spartan lead; and the beginning of the final quarter was fast-paced, as both teams had steals and raced up and down the floor.

The Spartans then scored a three-point bucket with four minutes to go; but Travis Webster answered back by burying a three-pointer for the Pacers. Aaron Moore then worked the ball inside to connect on a bucket – giving the Pacers their first lead of the night, 44-43.

Mark Sharp then stole the ball and fed Cliff Meyer, who scored a bucket; but the Southwestern Shelby team answered back with a basket to keep things close.

Mark Sharp added a basket to expand the lead to 48-45, and the Spartans called a time out with just over two minutes left to try and map a plan for victory.

The Spartans were then sent to the charity stripe where they added two points to climb with a point; but Switzerland County held the ball until the Spartans were forced to foul, sending Travis Webster to line, who connected on both attempts.

Kyle Green was also sent to the line at the end of the game, and he added another point; and Travis Webster went back to the stripe to add another point for the Switzerland County team.

The Pacer defense held the Spartans to 47 points, and Mark Sharp wrapped up the scoring with a layup as the Pacers earned the win, 54-47.

“The team played great in the second half. They showed character picking up the win,” Coach Bowen said. “The team was all there. The guards had an excellent night. T.J. Sefton and Travis Webster each picked up seven assists. Pulling out a win when they didn’t play their best is what this team did tonight. We have three weeks until the sectional and we are looking forward to it.”

Leading the Pacers in scoring was Kyle Green with 12 points and five rebounds; while Travis Webster finished with 11 points, six rebounds, seven assists and six steals. Cliff Meyer had 10 points and five rebounds; and Mark Sharp finished with nine points. Aaron Moore had six points; T.J. Sefton had four points and seven assists; and Jordan Hinman finished with two points.

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The jayvee team had one of its best defensive efforts on Saturday, defeating Southwestern Shelby by a score of 33-20.

The top scorer for the team was Michael Haas with 11 points; and Devon Armstrong added seven points. Ryan Peters had five points, three assists and four steals; while Kameron Pavy finished with four points and five rebounds. Daniel Welch had four points and had two rebounds; while Justin Reagan finished with two points.

The Pacers return to action tomorrow (Friday) when they travel to New Washington for a 6 p.m. start.