Pacers finish third in NAS Classic, ready for Rivertown tonight

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The Switzerland County Pacer boys varsity basketball team wrapped up 2011 by finishing third in its initial appearance in the North American Stainless Classic held at Carroll County High School before Christmas.
Switzerland County now heads into tonight’s (Thursday’s) opening round of the Rivertown Classic Tournament at South Dearborn sporting a 7-3 record and looking for big things in 2012.
Here’s how the NAS Tournament happened:
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In the opening round of the tourney, Switzerland County played Trimble County, and after some exciting action for 32 minutes, the teams decided that it wasn’t enough to decide the outcome, and the squads played an overtime period before the Pacers escaped with a 55-53 win.
Switzerland County moved out to an early 15-13 lead at the end of the first quarter; and then continued its outstanding play in a tight game, outscoring the Raiders 10-9 in the second stanza to take a 25-22 lead into halftime.
Switzerland County managed to open things up a bit in the third quarter, outscoring Trimble County by a 12-8 margin to enter the final period up by seven, 37-30; and with three minutes to play in the game, Switzerland County held a 10-point lead, but that’s when Trimble County began to make its run.
Using the three-point shot to get back in the game, Trimble County shot its way back into the contest, tying the game at 50-50 and forcing an additional four minute overtime period.
It was in that period that Coach B.J. McAlister’s Pacers showed their moxie, outscoring Trimble County 5-3 over the span, but playing tough, consistent basketball to claim the win.
Keegan Kincaid led all scorers with 18 points in the game, including three three-pointers; while Austin Clark added 14 and Trevor Smith was in double figures with 11.
Clint Swanson added five points; Alex Curran also finished with five; Anthony Dennis had two points; and Quinn Meyer added a point.
Switzerland County was clutch from the freethrow line, shooting 12-of-16 for 75-percent.
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Advancing in the winners’ bracket, Switzerland County’s next opponent was Gallatin County, a school that the Pacers used to play on a yearly basis, but a rivalry that hasn’t occurred in more than a decade.
The Wildcats entered the tournament as the favorite, and did nothing to dispel that opinion, using a smothering, man-to-man defense that forced 17 Switzerland County turnovers, and led Gallatin County to a 43-40 semifinal victory.
Gallatin County raced out to a 15-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Switzerland County continued to gain its offensive balance, and outscored the Wildcats by a 14-12 margin in the second quarter to trail by just seven, 27-20 at the end of the first half.
The third quarter was a low scoring battle, with Gallatin County managing to win the period with an 8-6 count to extend its lead to nine heading into the final quarter before Switzerland County staged a big offensive rally.
But even though the Pacers clawed into what was a 13-point fourth quarter lead at one point, outscoring Gallatin County by a 14-8 mark in the final stanza wasn’t enough, but the Pacers made it interesting.
With 22-seconds left, Switzerland County’s Austin Clark hit a pair of freethrows to cut the Gallatin County lead to 43-37. Switzerland County fouled Zak Brown to get the ball back, and when the Wildcat missed both freethrows, Keegan Kincaid raced upcourt and drained a pull up three-pointer that cut the lead to three, 43-40.
Again fouling to get the ball back, Gallatin County’s David Biddle went to the line – and again missed both freethrows, but with just under three seconds to play, all the Pacers could manage was a desperation heave that missed the mark, and the Wildcats escaped to the championship round with a 43-40 decision.
Austin Clark was Switzerland County’s leading scorer, finishing with 12 points; while Keegan Kincaid added 11.
Alex Curran had eight points; Quinn Meyer added four; Anthony Dennis had three; and Clint Swanson contributed two.
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Playing its third game in three days, Switzerland County responded well after the heart-breaking loss to Gallatin County with a 56-33 drubbing of Villa Madonna in the tournament’s third place game.
The contest was never in doubt, as the Pacers opened up a quick 11-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, and a 17-8 second period made the score 28-12 in favor of Switzerland County at the half.
The Pacers doubled the score on it opponent with an 18-11 third quarter that made the score 46-23; and with both teams finishing the final stanza with 10 points each; Coach B.J. McAlister cleared his bench and saw his troops emerge with a 56-33 win.
Austin Clark again did major damage inside, finishing with a game-high 15 points; while Quinn Meyer was in double figures with 10.
Keegan Kincaid finished with nine points in the game; Chase Ritch also accounted for nine points; and Trevor Smith added four. Anthony Dennis had three points; while Alex Curran and Clint Swanson each finished with two.
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The Pacers now head into tonight’s (Thursday’s) opening round of the Rivertown Classic at South Dearborn, and will take on Lawrenceburg in the evening’s second game. A win pushes the Pacers into Saturday night’s championship contest.