Pacers battle in close game, but cool final quarter ends in loss to South Ripley

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The South Ripley Raiders rode a 16-6 fourth quarter to pull away from Switzerland County on Friday night, spoiling ‘Silent Night’ and handing the Pacers a 50-45 loss.

The night was designed for Pacer fans to remain silent until Switzerland County scored its 10th point of the game, and once that happened – when Kollin Hayes converted a layup following a nice drive to the bucket – the Pacer faithful went crazy.

The game was a close battle between the two longtime rivals.

South Ripley got on the board first when Elijah Roepke scored, but the Pacers came right back with a power move to the bucket by Hunter Hayes. After Kaleb Riley made a three-pointer for the Raiders, a bucket by Kollin Hayes kept things close.

The back and forth continued, with Ty Tucker scoring inside for South Ripley, only to be matched by another inside bucket by Hunter Hayes. Elijah Roepke hit a three-pointer for the Raiders, and South Ripley held a 10-6 lead with just under five minutes to play.

Switzerland County made a run, getting two baskets by Caleb Furnish and one from Kollin Hayes to take a two point lead. South Ripley came right back with a pair of freethrows from Brady Meyer to tie the game; but Riley Phagan’s jumper in the closing seconds gave Switzerland County a 14-12 lead at the first break.

Hunter Hayes made two freethrows to open the second quarter and extend the lead to four; and after Derek Turner scored; Pacer Justin Green had a great steal that led to a Riley Phagan layup. South Ripley countered with a three-pointer from Kaleb Riley to cut the lead to one; but Caleb Furnish matched that with a three-pointer for the Pacers to push the lead back to four.

Brady Meyer scored for South Ripley; and Hunter Hayes made a freethrow. Brady Meyer then scored again to close the half; and the teams went to the break with the Pacers in front, 22-21.

The third quarter was much like the first half, with both teams taking turns making short runs, but not being able to string together enough points to get a manageable lead. Turnovers also played a big part in the game, as each team took turns exhibiting some sloppy play.

Riley Phagan opened the third quarter with a pair of freethrows, but Ty Tucker hit a pair of charities for the Raiders, and Kaleb Riley scored moments later when Hunter Hayes was whistled for goal tending that gave South Ripley a one-point lead.

Caleb Furnish wiped that away with a long three-pointer; but Ty Tucker tied the game at 27-27 with another inside basket.

Again the Pacers tried to make a run, getting two freethrows and a basket from Kollin Hayes to take a four point lead; and after South Ripley got a freethrow, a three-pointer by Switzerland County’s Dakota Fuller pushed the Pacer lead out to six with just over two minutes to play.

The Raiders countered with baskets by Ty Tucker and Brady Meyer; but Dakota Fuller, having an outstanding game off of the bench, converted a traditional three-point play to give the Pacers a 37-32 lead inside a minute to play.

After Ty Tucker made two freethrows for the Raiders; and after Caleb Furnish hit a jumper, the third quarter closed with Switzerland County in front, 39-34.

The final stanza is where the Pacer offense stumbled, as South Ripley outscored Switzerland County 16-6 to gain control of the contest.

The Pacers got a rebound and put back by Ben Curran and a short jumper by Ben Curran along with an inside bucket by Hunter Hayes, but that was all of the scoring that Switzerland County could manage.

Even with the offensive shortage, South Ripley couldn’t tie the game until Chase Samples scored inside with three minutes to play.

From there the Raiders got five straight points from Kaleb Riley, and South Ripley held on to score the five point win, 50-45.

Caleb Furnish led Switzerland County with 12 points; while Hunter Hayes added nine to go with some timely rebounds. Kollin Hayes had eight points; Riley Phagan and Dakota Fuller each finished with six; and Ben Curran added four.

South Ripley was led by Ty Tucker with 14 points; while Kaleb Riley had 13 and Brady Meyer had 11.

The loss drops the Pacers to 2-3 on the year, and Switzerland County now has the Christmas holiday off until Tuesday, December 30th, when they travel to Borden to take on the Braves. That’s followed by a trip to Seymour on January 3rd before entering tourney play at the Rivertown Classic on Thursday, January 8th.

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The Friday night’s jayvee game, South Ripley defeated Switzerland County by a score of 51-31.

Dolan Spring led the Pacers with 13 points and five rebounds; while Austin South finished with eight points and four boards.

Kyle Whitham added five points and three rebounds; Zack Wainscott had two points and five rebounds; Jacob Turner had two points; and Justin Chatham had one point and four rebounds.