Pacers convert key shots and key times to defeat Gallatin County, 60-51

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The Switzerland County Pacer boys varsity basketball team hosted Gallatin County last Thursday night due to the girls Sectional being played over the weekend, and the Pacers pulled out a 60-51 win on the strength of some key freethrow shooting down the stretch.

In the final three minutes of the game, Switzerland County converted 9-of-10 attempts to keep the Wildcats at bay and earn the victory.

After Hunter Hayes opened the scoring in the first quarter with an inside bucket; Gallatin County went on an early run by scoring seven straight points – five of those by Kaleb Beckham, and Pacer coach Adam Dennis called a timeout to steady his charges.

Coming out of the break, Switzerland County got a baskets from Ben Curran and Justin Green to climb to within one. Kaleb Beckham made a freethrow to push the Wildcats back in front by two, but that’s when the Pacers made a run.

Dakota Fuller drilled a three-pointer and Caleb Furnish followed that with a three-pointer of his own. When Hunter Hayes followed that with two freethrows, Switzerland County found itself up by six, 14-8.

Gallatin County’s Mason Wilson hit a three-pointer to stop that run; but a three-pointer by Kollin Hayes closed the quarter with the Pacers in front, 17-11.

Gallatin County opened the second quarter with a run of five straight points; and after Kollin Hayes made a freethrow, Jay Shrader tied the game at 18-18 with a short jumper.

The Pacers got a basket from Justin Green and two freethrows from Riley Phagan; but the Wildcats got a three-pointer from Kaleb Beckham to stay close.

Switzerland County went on another run, getting a three-pointer from Riley Phagan, a layup by Dakota Fuller, and a jumper from Riley Phagan to jump out by eight. Kaleb Beckham hit a three-pointer for Gallatin County, but Justin Green powered his way inside for another bucket. A basket by Kaleb Beckham closed the half with the Pacers in front, 31-26.

The third quarter was a big one for the Pacers, as Switzerland County outscored the Wildcats, 14-9.

Riley Phagan did most of the damage for Switzerland County, as he accounted for 10 points in the period, including two three-pointers, a basket and a pair of freethrows.

Kollin Hayes had the other two buckets; and with a quarter to play, Switzerland County maintained a 10-point lead, 45-35.

Gallatin County made a run to open the final quarter, scoring six straight points; but Hunter Hayes scored inside and Caleb Furnish followed that with a jumper, keeping the lead at eight.

The Wildcats tried to climb back into the game by sending the Pacers to the freethrow line.

That didn’t work, and the key freethrows – six by Ben Curran, two by Dakota Fuller and one by Kollin Hayes – sealed the win by nine, 60-51.

Riley Phagan led Switzerland County with 17 points on the night, and the Pacers continued their recent trend of a very balanced scoring attack.

Ben Curran was also in double figures with 10 points; while Kollin Hayes had nine and Dakota Fuller finished with seven. Hunter Hayes and Justin Green each added six points; and Caleb Furnish contributed five.

Kaleb Beckham led the Wildcats with 25 points.

The game was truly won at the freethrow line, as both teams made 13 field goals and six three-pointers in the game. Switzerland County went 16-for-20 from the freethrow as opposed to Gallatin County’s 7-for-12 – a difference of nine points.

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In the junior varsity game on Thursday night, the Pacers defeated Gallatin County by a score of 37-35.

Dolan Springer led the way with 12 points and six rebounds; and Justin Chatham added seven points and six boards. Casper Stow finished with five points and nine rebounds; Zack Wainscott had four points and three rebounds; and Brandon Works had three points.

Kyle Whitham had two points and three rebounds; Jacob Turner had two points; and Austin South had two points and three assists.