There’s an old saying that when two rivals meet, you can throw out the records and the history – and that was never more true than on Friday night in Rising Sun, as the Pacers and the Shiners battled through four tough quarters and an overtime period before Switzerland County emerged with the victory, 47-45.
Switzerland County got on the board first with a three-pointer from Kollin Hayes; but then Rising Sun, playing a patient and deliberate offense, ran off eight straight points on two buckets from Brent Turner and baskets by Nick Koons and Tristan Brown to take an 8-3 lead after one quarter of play.
The lead expanded as the second period got underway on a basket by Trenton Gridley; but then it was Switzerland County’s turn to make a run, fueled by a three-pointer from Dakota Fuller and baskets by Justin Green and Kollin Hayes.
With 4:55 still to play in the half, the game was tied at 10-10.
The Pacers regained the lead after a Shiner timeout with a basket inside by Hunter Hayes; but Rising Sun got a pair of freethrows from Koons to again tie the score. Hunter Hayes scored again; but that was matched by Brown; and when Gridley scored inside, the Shiners again held the lead, 16-14.
Switzerland County got a freethrow from Kollin Hayes to get within one, but a freethrow by Jason McClellan at the close of the half sent both teams to the locker room with Rising Sun in front, 17-15.
The Shiner extended their lead out of the halftime break on a basket by Turner; but then the Pacers made another run, getting baskets by Hunter Hayes and Casper Stow, a freethrow from Green and a three-pointer by Kyle Whitham to move in front, 23-19.
Rising Sun scored to break the run; but a freethrow from Tyler Konkle and a basket by Rising Sun’s Brown closed the third quarter with the Pacers in front, 24-22.
The fourth period was a back-and-forth, edge of your seat affair; with both teams having chances to seize control of the game, only to see the other bounce back.
The Shiners opened the quarter with baskets by Noah Pflum and Angelo Gallegos to move back in front by two; but the Pacers pounded the ball inside to Green, and the senior scored in the paint to again tie the game. Turner scored for Rising Sun; but Kollin Hayes kept things close with a pair of freethrows.
Rising Sun then made a run, getting a basket and two freethrows from Brown to move out to a five point lead with 3:46 to play; but Stow countered that with a huge three-pointer to kept the Pacers within striking distance. Brown scored again for the Shiners; but Hunter Hayes proved big inside, as the senior grabbed an offensive rebound and got the put-back as well as the foul, and when he converted the freethrow, the Pacers were again within a single point, 35-34.
Brown made a freethrow for Rising Sun, and Pflum followed that with two more charities; and with 1:31 to go, Rising Sun was in front, 38-34.
Hunter Hayes again got free inside for a basket; and with a minute to play, Green was fouled inside, and when he converted both freethrow attempts, the game was tied at 38-38. After some defensive stands, regulation ended with a 38-38 tie, and the teams readied themselves for four minutes of overtime.
The overtime period was controlled by the Pacers early, with Green scoring inside to push the Pacers in front; and after Hunter Hayes pulled down another offensive rebound and was fouled, he converted one of the attempts to give Switzerland County a three point lead. Kollin Hayes would make it a five point bulge moments later with two freethrows; and it looked like the Pacers were finally going to have some breathing room.
Pflum hit a long, long three-pointer to suddenly pull the Shiners back to within two; and after Austin South made two freethrows for the Pacers, Koons drilled a three-pointer that sliced the lead to one, 45-44, with 11-seconds to play.
Forced to foul, Rising Sun sent Kollin Hayes to the freethrow line, and the senior calmly converted both attempts; and when Koons could only manage to make one of his freethrow attempts moments later, the game ended with Switzerland County in front, 47-45.
Kollin Hayes led the Pacers with 12 points; while Hunter Hayes was also in double figures with 10. Whitham finished with seven points; with Stow and Green each contributing five. Fuller and Konkle each added three points; and South had two.
Rising Sun was led by Brown with 13 points; while Koons and Turner were both in double figures with 10 each.
Pflum had seven; Gridley had four; and McClellan contributed one.
The junior varsity game saw Switzerland County earn the win by a 43-28 count.
Cade Rider led the Pacers with 17 points, including three three-pointers; and Damian Breeck was in double figures, finishing with 11.
Tyler Konkle had seven points; Justin Chatham had five; Zach Weaver had two points; and Patrick Stow contributed one point.
The Pacers are back in action at home tomorrow (Friday) night, as they host Trinity Lutheran.
The game is the annual ‘Silent Night’ game, with everyone being asked to remain completely silent until the Pacers score their 10th point of the game.
Everyone is also asked to wear an ugly Christmas sweater or Christmas attire to the game; and donations will be collected to be given to a local charity or a local family in need.