Pacers fall to Shiners in back-and-forth battle, ready for Homecoming tomorrow


There’s an old adage says that when two rivals get together, “you can throw out the records”. On Saturday night in Rising Sun, the Switzerland County Pacers battled their rivals from up river, and after 32 minutes of back and forth battle, the Shiners rode some timely shooting to a 53-48 win.

Austin Clark opened the game for Switzerland County with a pair of freethrows, but the Shiners matched that with an inside bucket by Kreigh Liggett. Trevor Smith then hit a three-pointer that gave the Pacers an early lead.

That’s when the Shiners made their first run, scoring eight straight points on three baskets by Jake Willhite and a bucket by Kreigh Liggett.

The Pacers didn’t panic, getting a traditional three-point play from Austin Clark; but Rising Sun got two freethrows by Jeremy Cravens. A last-second basket by Anthony Dennis drew Switzerland County to within two, 12-10, at the end of the first period.

Trevor Smith opened the second period with a steal and a layup that tied the game; but again Rising Sun responded with a basket from Ryan Dugan.

Then it was time for the Pacers to make a run.

Switzerland County reeled off nine straight points over the next four minutes, fueled by two baskets by Anthony Dennis and a three-point play and a pair of freethrows by Quinn Meyer.

With 3:20 to go in the half, Switzerland County held a 21-14 advantage.

Kreigh Liggett broke the run with another basket inside; but the Pacers kept the offense rolling, getting two baskets by Alex Curran and a runner in the lane by Trevor Smith to push the lead to 11 at 27-16.

The Shiners closed the half with a freethrow and a basket by Ryan Dugan, and the teams closed the first 16-minutes of play with the Pacers holding a 27-19 lead.

Austin Clark’s inside bucket opened the third quarter; but Alex Oser answered that with a three-pointer; and after Alex Curran converted a freethrow, another Rising Sun three-pointer from Jake Willhite and a freethrow from Brandon Turner cut the lead to four.

Keegan Kincaid scored to break the Shiner run, but Rising Sun got another three-pointer from Jake Willhite to make the score 32-29 with 5:11 to play.

Switzerland County got a big three-pointer from Anthony Dennis and a basket from Austin Clark to swell the lead back to eight; but the Pacers couldn’t shake their rivals.

Rising Sun got a basket from Kreigh Liggett and another three-pointer from Jake Willhite to climb back into the contest; but Quinn Meyer stopped that run with a bucket.

The Shiners then went on a run at the end of the quarter, getting baskets by Brandon Turner, Nathan Hannan, and Kreigh Liggett to take a 40-39 lead with seven seconds to go.

Switzerland County inbounded the ball to senior Anthony Dennis, who raced upcourt and launched a long three-pointer from just over halfcourt that found the net – and as the Pacer crowd erupted, Switzerland County pulled back in front by a 42-40 count.

The final period would be a back-and-forth affair, featuring four ties and swings of emotion from both players and fans.

Kreigh Liggett tied the game as the period started, and then put the Shiners out in front moments later with another inside move. Quinn Meyer tied the game moments later with a jumper; but Nathan Hannan again gave the Shiners the lead again with two freethrows.

That would be the beginning of a clutch night at the end of the game for Rising Sun, as the Shiners would convert 9-of-10 freethrows over the final five minutes to seal the win.

Trevor Smith tied the game at 46-46 with 4:45 to play, and the Pacers would retake the lead moments later when Clint Swanson raced through the lane for a layup.

Jake Willhite then made four straight freethrows to put Rising Sun into the lead again – and that would be the final time that the Shiners would be challenged in the game.

Rising Sun closed the game with a freethrow from Alex Oser and a couple of charities from Kreigh Liggett; and as the buzzer sounded, Rising Sun players and fans raced onto the court to celebrate the win and the claiming of the “Ruler of the River” trophy that goes to the winner of each Switzerland County-Rising Sun varsity basketball game.

Anthony Dennis had an outstanding night offensively, leading Switzerland County with 12 points. Trevor Smith and Quinn Meyer each finished with nine; and Alex Curran added five.

Keegan Kincaid and Clint Swanson added two points each in the loss.

Jake Willhite led all scorers with 19 points for the Shiners, and Kreigh Liggett was in double figures with 16.

Switzerland County, losers of five of its last eight games, looks to right the ship tomorrow (Friday) night when New Washington (0-15) comes to town for Homecoming. On Saturday, the Pacers face an ORVC battle, when Milan (8-4) visits the Pacer gym.


In the junior varsity game, sophomore Justus Powell had a monster game to lead Switzerland County over Rising Sun by a score of 36-20.

He finished with 10 points and 18 rebounds on the night; and got help from Braden Burk, who added seven points and two rebounds.

Riley Phagan had six points, two rebounds, and a pair of steals; T.J. White had four points and five boards; Ben Curran had four points; Bob Tressler had three points and four rebounds; and Nathan Hunter had two points and three rebounds.