Pacers can’t capitalize on strong start, fall to CAI by 63-47 count

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Coach Adam Dennis’s Switzerland County boys varsity basketball team got off to a fast start in last Friday’s game against Christian Academy of Indiana, but the Pacers couldn’t keep up the intensity over the full 32 minutes, and the Warriors pulled away in the second half to claim a 63-47 win.

Switzerland County was hot from the outset, as junior Caleb Furnish and senior Riley Phagan each drilled a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter. Caleb Furnish also added a freethrow, Justin Green had a rebound basket, and Ben Curran hit a jumper that gave the Pacers a 17-15 lead after the first eight minutes of play.

The Warriors got strong play from Nic Reed, as the junior accounted for nine points in the opening stanza.

The second quarter opened and Caleb Furnish kept his hot streak going, drilling another three-pointer to push the Pacers out by five points.

Christian Academy responded with two freethrows from Nic Reed, a steal and a layup from James Martin, and a basket by Shelby Rose to move out to a one point lead with six minutes until the half.

Dolan Springer came off the bench and played some big minutes for the Pacers, scoring inside to regain the advantage; but the Warriors got a basket from Nic Reed and a freethrow from Shelby Rose to again move in front.

A freethrow by Dakota Fuller narrowed the Switzerland County deficit to one, and the teams went to the halftime break with Christian Academy in front, 24-23.

Coming out of the halftime break, the Switzerland County offense sputtered to get going while the Warriors were hitting on all cylinders.

Christian Academy outscored Switzerland County by a 21-10 margin in the eight minute stretch to gain control of the contest.

Shelby Rose did most of the damage for CAI, accounting for 11 points; while Aaron Eldridge added nine more.

Switzerland County would go two minutes into the period without scoring before Riley Phagan hit a jumper; and Dolan Springer followed that with two freethrows. Ben Curran, Justin Green, and Dakota Fuller all had baskets in the quarter, but Switzerland County could not draw any closer to the hot-shooting Warriors.

Justin Green scored for the Pacers to open the final period, but Aaron Eldridge quickly matched that. Justin Green countered by again scoring inside; but the Warriors countered with a run of eight straight points to put any hopes of a comeback out of reach.

Hunter Hayes, shackled by foul trouble all night, got free and scored inside to break that run; and his bucket was followed by a runner from Ben Curran.

Christian Academy then scored six straight points; but Riley Phagan hit a long three-pointer inside of two minutes to play. Nic Reed finished out CAI’s scoring with a pair of freethrows, and Dolan Springer hit a three-pointer as the game closed to bring Switzerland County within 16 points, falling 63-47.

Riley Phagan led the Pacers with 11 points, including three three-pointers; and Caleb Furnish rode three three-pointers to a 10-point performance.

Justin Green battled his way inside to eight points on the night; Dolan Springer finished with seven; Ben Curran added six; Dakota Fuller had three; and Hunter Hayes contributed two points.

Shelby Rose led CAI with 20 points; Nic Reed finished with 19; and Aaron Eldridge added 17.

The Pacers return to action tomorrow (Friday) night when Switzerland County travels to Rising Sun. The junior varsity tip off will be at 6 p.m.

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In Friday night’s junior varsity game, Christian Academy defeated Switzerland County by a 48-36 score.

Jacob Turner was the leading scorer for Switzerland County with eight points; while Austin South had six points, three rebounds, and four assists.

Justin Chatham had six points and two rebounds; Kyle Whitham had five points and two rebounds; Zack Wainscott had four points and a pair of rebounds; and Casper Stow had four points, three assists, and two steals.

Andrew Youngblood had three points and an assist; and Kaleb Harrell and Dolan Springer each contributed a rebound.