Pacers control paint early, don’t look back in victory over South Ripley

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When rivals Switzerland County and South Ripley meet in basketball, you can throw out the records and the history; because it’s almost always a battle.

But when the two squads met in Versailles on Saturday night, the battle never got into full swing, and the Pacers pulled away early and rode strong play in the paint and a strong defense to a 50-30 win.

The Pacers moved out early, jumping to an early 7-2 advantage and then outscoring their hosts 14-5 in the first quarter, as Casper Stow opened the game with a three-pointer; and Dakota Fuller and Hunter Hayes each contributed four points early and Justin Green chipped in three.

Cory Walker had three for the Raiders in the first; while Derek Turner had the other two.

The second quarter saw the Pacers keep their collective foot on the offensive accelerator, scoring 13 more points to just 11 for the Raiders. With 5:33 left in the second, the Pacers had pushed their lead up to 21-7; but then saw the margin shrink to nine, 23- 14, with 2:42 to play.

Switzerland County was inflicting tremendous offensive damage inside, where Kyle Whitham had eight points in the second and Hunter Hayes had the other five. Walker continued to be the key offensive threat for South Ripley, as he had nine points in the second, including a three-pointer and three field goals.

Switzerland County regrouped, again putting the margin in double figures, going to the halftime break holding a 27-16 advantage.

The halftime break, longer due to exhibitions by elementary cheer squads and a tumbling exhibition, didn’t cool off the Pacers, as Switzerland County again went on the attack in the third, outscoring South Ripley 13-7 to make the advantage 17 points – 40-23 – after three periods.

The third quarter continued to see Switzerland County take the ball inside to take advantage of the Pacer height advantage; and in the third it was Green going to work, as the senior big man had six points on three inside buckets in the quarter; and inside teammate Hunter Hayes had three more.

Kollin Hayes, who leads the ORVC in scoring at 15 points per game, got his first basket in the third, but senior was a vital part of the game all night, handing out key assists and playing tight defense while pulling defenders away from the basket, allowing Hunter Hayes and Green more space to score. Austin South also had two freethrows in the third.

From there the Switzerland County defense continued its stellar night, holding South Ripley to just seven points for the second straight quarter – and the Raiders just managed a total of 19 points in three periods (5 in the first; 7 in the third; and 7 in the fourth).

Maneuvering through the South Ripley defensive pressure, Switzerland County had 10 points over the final eight minutes, and emerged with a 20-point margin of victory, 50-30.

Hunter Hayes and Green each had two more baskets in the fourth period; while Fuller also had another bucket.

For the game, Hunter Hayes led the way with 16 points; while Green had a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Whitham had eight points; Fuller finished with six; Stow had three; and Kollin Hayes and South each added two.

Walker led South Ripley with 19 points.

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The junior varsity game saw Switzerland County win by a final score of 34-19.

The Pacers were led by Damian Breeck, who had 14 points including a pair of three-pointers; while Justin Chatham added eight on four field goals.

Coby Chase and Dustin Tingle each had three points in the win; with Tyler Perry, Landon Wilks, and Zach Weaver each contributing two points.