The regular season of the Switzerland County boys varsity basketball team came to an end with a whimper rather than a roar last Thursday night, as the Pacers fell on Senior Night to Madison by a score of 56-26.
The Pacers failed to break double figures in any of the four quarters in the game; and topped that by going 4-for-14 from the freethrow line.
Madison raced out to a 17-1 lead as the game opened, with Switzerland County only managing a freethrow by Kyle Whitham over the first six minutes of the quarter. The Cubs were on fire from outside, as Nick Center, Luke Miller, and Cooper Yancey each made three-pointers.
The Pacers tried to make a run at the end of the period, getting baskets by Justin Chatham and Austin South to close the stanza, but after eight minutes of play, Madison led by a score of 17-5.
Yancey opened the second quarter with another three-pointer for the Cubs, but the Pacers showed some life offensively with a three-pointer by Cade Rider and a bucket by Damian Breeck. Madison bounced back with baskets by Yancey and Mason Welsh — and that was the extent of the quarter’s scoring, as Madison had seven points and Switzerland County had five.
At the half, the Cubs led the Pacers 24-10.
The third quarter continued to see the Switzerland County offensive troubles, with Madison outscoring the Pacers 13-7 to hold a 37-17 lead with a period to play.
The Pacers got a freethrow by Tyler Konkle to open the third, while Whitham contributed two more baskets and South had another field goal.
Down by 20, Switzerland County was never able to mount any sort of run against the Cubs, and Madison kept up the pressure over the final span, outscoring Switzerland County 19-9 to claim a final lead of 30 points.
Whitham continued his steady play, contributing a freethrow and a three-pointer in the opening minutes of the quarter; while South had another bucket and Breeck had a traditional three-point play.
Madison closed the game on a 6-0 run, as Switzerland County fans saluted five seniors who were playing their final home game: Whitham, South, Chatham, Kenyon Bledsoe and Tyler Perry.
In the game, Whitham was the leading scorer for the Pacers with nine points, and he also had two rebounds. South had six points, three rebounds and two assists; and Breeck had five points and a pair of rebounds.
Rider finished with three points; Chatham had two points; and Konkle had one points and six rebounds.
The Cubs were led by Yancy with 20 points; while Welsh had 11; Miller and Ian Strouse had six points each; Landon Connor had five; and Hunter Anderson, Blair Holt, Luke Ommen, and Carson Livingston each had two points.
The loss closes the Switzerland County regular season with an overall record of 7-16 heading into this year’s Sectional.
The sectional got underway on Tuesday night when North Decatur defeated Milan by a score of 49-43; and Southwestern beat South Ripley by a score of 69-53. Those games set up tomorrow (Friday) night’s semifinals, where Switzerland County will play North Decatur in the first game at 6 p.m.; with Southwestern taking on South Decatur in the second game. The two winners will then play for the Sectional title on Saturday night, with the game starting at 7 p.m.
In the junior varsity game, Pacer Zach Weaver scored 27 points to lead Switzerland County to a 64-55 win over Madison.
In addition to the outstanding game by Weaver, the Pacers got 11 points from Doug Pedraza and Landon Wilks; 10 points from Coby Chase; and five points by Patrick Stow.