Pacers earn Homecoming victory with 59-51 battle over Rising Sun

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Switzerland County and Rising Sun renewed their long standing, heated rivalry on Friday night, and after the Pacers jumped out to an early lead, the Shiners stormed back, leading to a tight, 59-51 win for the Pacers.

Switzerland County got out to an early lead on the strength of two quick buckets by Hunter Hayes, but the Shiners responded with a three-pointer Brady Murray to keep things close.

The Pacers went on a short run, getting a basket from Ben Curran; a freethrow from Kollin Hayes; and a three-point play by Riley Phagan to jump out to an early 10-3 advantage. Jake McClellan stopped that run with a basket; but Riley Phagan came right back, connecting on a three-pointer.

After Mitchell Morris scored for Rising Sun, Kollin Hayes drilled a three-pointer for the Pacers, and with a minute to play Switzerland County held a 16-7 lead.

Back stormed Rising Sun, getting a three-pointer and a basket from Austin Armstrong; and when Mitchell Morris scored underneath on a put back at the buzzer, the lead for the Pacers had shrunk to two – 16-14.

The Shiners tied the game to open the second quarter on a basket by Kurtis Armstrong; and after Ben Curran made a freethrow, Rising Sun’s Jake McClellan also converted a charity to keep the game tied.

Again the Pacers went on a run, kick started by a three-pointer from Caleb Furnish, followed by baskets from Ben Curran and Justin Green, pushing Switzerland County out to a 24-17 lead.

Again the Shiners responded, getting baskets from Mitchell Morris, Austin Armstrong, and Jack McClellan to climb with within one; but Caleb Furnish got free at the second quarter horn, and his three-pointer found the range, giving the Pacers a 27-23 lead at the break.

Switzerland County had its best quarter of the night in the third, scoring 18 points, while the defense limited the Shiners to just 10.

After Kurtis Armstrong opened the scoring with a basket, Switzerland County got a bucket inside from Hunter Hayes; and after Kurtis Armstrong scored again, the Pacers responded with a basket from Kollin Hayes. Mitchell Morris then scored to continue the back-and-forth play; but the Pacers got a basket from Ben Curran and a three-point play by Hunter Hayes to move out by seven, 36-29, with four minutes to play.

Kurtis Armstrong scored again; but Dakota Fuller followed that with a freethrow. Austin Armstrong then hit a basket for Rising Sun; but it was then time for another Pacer run.

Kollin Hayes converted two charities; Ben Curran hit a jumper; and Justin Green capped an eight-point barrage with two freethrows and a bucket inside, and the quarter ended with Switzerland County on top, 45-33.

The lead would swell to 15 as the final stanza got underway on a freethrow from Hunter Hayes and a basket by Ben Curran – but this rivalry is never over until the final horn, and the Shiners were about to stage a big comeback.

Austin Armstrong hit a three; and Jack Uhlmansiek followed that with two freethrows to cut the lead down to 10.

After Hunter Hayes scored again inside; Austin Armstrong hit a jumper and followed that with two freethrows; and the lead was eight. Hunter Hayes put the margin back to double figures with a pair of freethrows, and with two minutes left, Switzerland County was in front by 10.

Brady Murray hit a three-pointer for the Shiners; and after Ben Curran raced through the lane for a runner; Rising Sun’s Tyler Camden was fouled and went to the line for two freethrows.

He missed them both, but Rising Sun grabbed the carom and Austin Armstrong drilled another jumper.

One minute to play: Switzerland County 54, Rising Sun 47.

Caleb Furnish was fouled and the junior converted both freethrows, but Austin Armstrong came down and connected on a long three-pointer. With 51-seconds to go, the Pacers were in front 56-50.

But, in the pressure of the moment, Coach Adam Dennis’ squad didn’t buckle, taking care of the basketball while running time off of the clock, and making freethrows to seal the win.

Riley Phagan made two freethrows down the stretch and Hunter Hayes made another, and the horn sounded with the Pacers in front, 59-51.

Switzerland County was led by Hunter Hayes with 15 points; while Ben Curran had an outstanding game after being crowned Homecoming King, finishing with 13 points.

The trio of Riley Phagan, Kollin Hayes, and Caleb Furnish all had eight points each; while Justin Green had six and Dakota Fuller contributed one.

Austin Armstrong led all scorers with 22 points; while Rising Sun teammates Mitchell Morris and Kurtis Armstrong had eight points each. Brady Murray had six; Jake McClellan had five; and Jake Uhlmansiek had two.

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In the junior varsity game, Rising Sun won by a score of 46-37.

Switzerland County was led by Jacob Turner with nine points; Dolan Springer with eight points and seven rebounds; and Austin South with six points and six rebounds.

Justin Chatham had five points; Zack Wainscott had four points and 13 rebounds; Brandon Works had three points; and Casper Stow added two points.