Pacers come from behind to claim 61-60 victory at Trinity Lutheran

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When asked to find the positives in last Friday night’s 61-60 road win at Trinity Lutheran, Switzerland County Pacer varsity coach Brian Bowen simply smiled and said, “We won the game.”

The victory was the second of the year for the Pacers, and saw a Switzerland County team that trailed several times in the final quarter before getting some timely offense and strong defense to seal the win.

“From a statistical standpoint, I thought it was good,” Coach Bowen said. “We had three guys in double figures, and then Keegan had eight and Hon had seven. We had very balanced scoring, which I think will be a good thing for us.”

After falling behind 21-17 after an offensive first quarter, Switzerland County outscored Trinity Lutheran 17-10 during the second period of play to take a 34-31 lead into halftime. That lead then evaporated in the third period, as the Cougars raced back to win the period 15-12 – tying the game at 46-46 with a quarter to play.

During that final stanza Switzerland County fell behind on several occasions, but the Pacer coach said that his troops came up with big plays on both ends of the floor when they needed them.

“We’ve got different guys who can carry the load on different nights,” Coach Bowen said. “We got down probably four or five in the fourth quarter, and I think it kind of woke our guys up a little bit, and I think we had three or four possessions in a row where they turned it over and we scored and cut right back into it and took the lead. Our guys responded to the adversity.”

Did the long bus ride to Seymour for the game play a role in the Pacers’ flat offensive performance?

“It may have played a role in it, but that really shouldn’t happen,” the coach said. “We’ve got to do a better job of sustaining our level of focus, our level of concentration for an entire 32 minutes. We do really well in spurts. Getting our guys to sustain that for an entire game is something we’ve got to work on.”

Coach Bowen also talked about how his team needs to control things in a game that it is capable of controlling.

“We can’t always control if shots go in. We can control how hard we play on defense and how smart we play on defense; and we can control how smart we are with the basketball. We’ve just got to do a better job controlling the things that we can control.”

Switzerland County was led by senior Travis Tackett, who finished with 15 points; while fellow seniors Brennan Bragg and Tray Meyer finished with 11 points each.

Keegan Kincaid added eight; Josh Hon had seven; Alec McAlpine finished with five; and Noah Hughes added four.

The Pacers were 11-for-16 from the freethrow line for 68.8-percent; but turnovers at key times will be a point of emphasis as the Pacers prepare to take on rival Rising Sun at home tomorrow (Friday) night.

“The one thing we’ve got to do, we’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the basketball. We didn’t handle the ball very well,” Brian Bowen said. “Really, that’s been a struggling point all year, but with eight seniors, that something that we’ve got to do a better job about. I didn’t think game plan wise and fundamentally that we were focused on what we wanted to get done.”

The junior varsity game against the Shiners gets underway at 6 p.m.