Pacers can’t hold hot start, fall to Madison 61-46

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A hot first half was followed by a frigid second half as the Switzerland County Pacers couldn’t hold a lead and fell to Madison in the third round game of the Jefferson County Invitational on Saturday by a final score of 61-46.

  The Pacers came out of the locker room hot, scoring 16 points in each of the first two periods to take a 32-23 lead at the halftime break; but they followed that with just 14 points total in the final two stanzas, while Madison regrouped and roared back for the victory.

  The first quarter was a display of long range shooting for Switzerland County, as Damian Breeck connected on two three-pointers; and Coby Chase and Landon Wilks also hit from long range. Switzerland County paired that with two strong inside buckets by Tyler Konkle, and things were rolling early.

  Madison got a three-pointer by Cooper Yancey in the first and paired that with baskets by Nick Center, Luke Ommen, and Mason Welsh — but with eight minutes in the books, Switzerland County held a 16-9 advantage.

  The second quarter was just as impressive.

  Again the Pacers poured in 16 points — this time with scoring coming from all angles.

  Dalton Tingle had a three-pointer and a field goal for five points; Breeck made two field goals for four; Wilks and Chase each contributed their second three-pointers; and Konkle had a freethrow. The balance offensively took the Cubs out of their defensive rhythm, and allowed the Pacers to maintain a lead.

  Madison had 14 points in the second as their offense began to stir. Yancy led with five points, including a three-pointer; while Welsh had four more; Ommen added three; and Center connected on a field goal.

  There was a lot of optimism and excitement as the Pacers entered the halftime locker room with a nine point advantage.

  Unfortunately the momentum gained in the first half didn’t carry over to the second.

  In the third period, Madison outscored Switzerland County 14-5 to tie the game at 37-37 heading into the final quarter of play.

  Zach Weaver, playing critical minutes inside, had four of Switzerland County’s five points in the period with a basket and two freethrows; and Breeck chipped in the other freethrow to finish the scoring.

  Madison made a living at the freethrow line in the second half, as Yancey had eight points in the third, including four from the charity stripe; while Center had two more baskets and Jackson Falconberry also had a bucket.

  Tied at 37-37 going into the crucial fourth period, again the Switzerland County offense couldn’t get rolling, as the Pacers accounted for nine points while Madison exploded with 24 in the final stanza.

  Konkle had three points to lead the quarter scoring for Switzerland County; while Weaver and Breeck each had field goals and Chase made two freethrows.

  Yancey stayed on fire for the Cubs, scoring nine points — including five from the freethrow line — to keep the Pacers at bay.

  Center had seven in the fourth including a three-pointer; while Ommen added four more. Falconberry and Blair Holt also contributed baskets.

  The final horn sounded with the Pacers suffering their second defeat in the three games of the tournament by a final score of 61-46.

  Breeck was the leading scorer for Switzerland County with 13 points; while Chase was also in double figures with 10. Konkle had eight; while Wilks and Weaver each had six. Tingle finished with five.

  Yancey led all scorers with 25 points; and Center was in double figures, as he had 15.

  The Pacers don’t have much time to regroup, as the squad travels to Seymour tonight (Thursday, December 27th) for a battle with the big-school Owls; and then kick off the new year with the Rivertown Classic, where they will play South Dearborn in the tourney’s opening game on Thursday, January 3rd, at 6 p.m.