Pacers fall to Rising Sun in Rivertown Classic opener, 59-54

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Switzerland County got 25 points from junior Kyle Green, but it wasn’t enough last Thursday night, as the Pacers fell to rival Rising Sun in the opening round of the boys Rivertown Classic Tournament, 59-54.

The Shiner rode five three-pointers to the victory, as Switzerland County made one more two point shot (18 to 17); and two more freethrows (12 to 10); but managed only two three-pointers of their own.

The Pacers found their range from the freethrow line in the game – a season long struggle for Switzerland County – as the team missed only one freethrow over the final three quarters of the contest.

The Pacers got out to a 5-3 lead early in the game on a basket and a freethrow by Mark Sharp and two charities by Kyle Green; but Rising Sun ended the quarter with a run of seven straight points, including a three-pointer from Mike Lovern as the period ended, giving the Shiners a 10-5 lead.

Switzerland County came out swinging in the second period, getting back-to-back three-pointers from Mark Sharp and Kyle Green and an inside bucket from Clay Meyer to retake the lead by a score of 13-10 and force Shiner coach Brian Graham into a timeout.

The Shiners then got a pair of freethrows from Jimmy Young, but that was matched by a jumper from Kyle Green. A basket by Mike Lovern was also matched by a Kyle Green jumper; but Rising Sun then got baskets from Zeph Vaughn and Tyler Banschbach to reclaim the lead, 18-17.

The Pacers responded, getting baskets from Mark Sharp and Brennan Bragg to move back in front by three; but a three-pointer by Mike Lovern at the 1:54 mark knotted the game at 21-21.

Kyle Green scored again, but Nathan Adams hit a trey and then a two-pointer for the Shiners to push them back in front by three.

Switzerland County held the ball, and with just three seconds left in the half, Mark Sharp nailed a jumper that pulled the Pacers to within one at halftime, 26-25.

Rising Sun came out of the break hot, getting a basket by Zeph Vaughn and a three-pointer by Tyler Banschbach to jump out by six.

Each team then traded scores, with Kyle Green scoring followed by Zeph Vaughn. Brennan Bragg answered that, but a pair of freethrows by Mike Lovern kept the lead at six.

Switzerland County’s offense then hit its stride, getting a pair of freethrows from Clay Meyer and baskets by Kyle Green and Brandon Otter to tie the game with four minutes to play in the quarter.

Nathan Adams scored again for Rising Sun; but Switzerland County kept the heat up with another bucket from Kyle Green. Mike Lovern’s basket was matched by Clay Meyer; and Jimmy Young’s bucket was matched by a pair of freethrows by Devon Armstrong to finish off the third quarter with the teams tied at 41-41.

The final stanza kicked off with Mike Lovern hitting another three-pointer, and after Brennan Bragg drew Switzerland County back to within one, Logan Jackson scored for the Shiners.

Both teams then traded freethrows, and when Mike Lovern found the range at the 4:27 mark, Rising Sun had pushed out to a five point advantage, 49-44.

Switzerland County came back, getting baskets from Brandon Otter and Kyle Green to draw to within a point; but again it was Logan Jackson with the jumper to keep the Shiners in front.

A big turning point in the contest came at the :23-second mark, when junior guard Mark Sharp was whistled with his fifth foul of the game, sending the Pacers’ floor general to the bench. Rising Sun and Switzerland County both hit freethrows at the close of the game; but another jumper by Mike Lovern with six seconds left sealed the win for Rising Sun, and sent the Shiners into the tournament’s championship game against Lawrenceburg.

Kyle Green led the Pacers with a game high 25 points; and Mark Sharp was also in double figures, finishing with 11. Brennan Bragg and Clay Meyer each had six points; Brandon Otter finished with four; and Devon Armstrong added two.

Mike Lovern led Rising Sun with 24 points.