Pacers lose heartbreaker to Southwestern

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Southwestern came into the Switzerland County gym last Saturday night ranked #10 in the State in Class 2A, having lost just one game all season. After four tough, close quarters, the Pacers showed a lot of grit and determination, but some key freethrow shooting at the end of the game allowed the Rebels to claim the win, 63-60.

After the Rebels opened the game with a basket, Switzerland County got off to a fast start, scoring the four straight points; and after Southwestern came back with a run of five points; the Pacers went on a long range shooting rage.

Two three-pointers by Austin South was followed by a trey from Damian Breeck, accounting for a run of nine points that pushed the Pacers out in front. A basket by Southwestern’s Coleman Jones closed the period with Switzerland County holding an 18-9 lead.

The Pacer run continued into the second quarter, as Kyle Whitham scored off of a nice pass from Tyler Konkle; Breeck hit another three-pointer; and Whitham scored two more buckets to cap another nine point run and put the Pacers in front by a score of 22-9 with 3:28 left in the half.

Southwestern got two freethrows and a basket from Tyler Kramer to stop the run; but Cade Rider drilled a three-pointer and Whitham hit another field goal and a freethrow. Rebel Hunter Mefford then scored; and when Rider hit a basket as the horn, the squads went to the halftime break with the Pacers leading 30-15.

The Rebels have lost just one game all season for a reason; and that showed as the second half got underway, with Southwestern scoring the first six points of the quarter to pull to within nine. South stopped that run with another three-pointer; and after Hunter Mefford scored, Breeck hit another three-pointer that kept the margin at 13 points.

Hunter Mefford scored again for the Rebels, but South hit his fourth three-pointer extend the lead. The teams then went back and forth; and with 2:25 left in the quarter, the Pacers held a 46-32 lead.

Southwestern then closed the third with a run of seven straight points, sending the teams to the final period with the Pacers holding a 46-39 lead.

The lead slimmed even more as the final period got underway, as Foster Mefford and Jones posted three more points; and after Konkle made a freethrow, Southwestern got a three-pointer from Kramer and a bucket by Hunter Mefford that tied the game at 47-47 with 5:46 to go. Moments later, Hunter Mefford scored again, and the Rebels were in front.

South, battling foul issues for the second straight game, drilled his fifth three-pointer of the game to send Switzerland County back in front; but Kramer hit two freethrows and Foster Mefford followed that with two charities, and the Rebels were up by three.

South came through again, drilling three-pointer number six that tied the game at 53-53, but Southwestern is battle tested from the freethrow line, and the Rebels spent the remainder of the game shooting freethrows, making 10 straight attempts over the final 90-seconds.

The Pacers had an unusual moment with 38-seconds left, as Breeck hit a three-pointer from the corner, but while the shot was on its way, Konkle was hit with an offensive foul. The referees waved off the bucket, but after Coach Adam Dennis complained and the referees conferenced, the shot was counted, closing the margin to one.

Southwestern attempted to in bound the ball, but Breeck made the steal and converted the layup, and with 33-seconds to go, the Pacers were back in front, 58-57.

Jones was then fouled and made two freethrows for the Rebels to push them back in front; and after the Pacers failed to convert, Jones was again fouled — and again made two freethrows.

Breeck was fouled with seven-seconds left and made two freethrows to narrow the gap to just a point; but Kramer hit two charities with two-seconds left the sealed the Pacer fate.

Breeck led the way with 19 points; while South finished with 18 on six three-pointers. Whitham continued his outstanding play with 17 points; while Rider had five points and Konkle added one.

Kramer led all scorers with 26 points; Hunter Mefford had 16 points; Jones had 11; and Foster Mefford had 10.

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In the junior varsity game, Switzerland County won by a score of 49-44.

Landon Wilks led the Pacers with 20 points; and Doug Pedraza, Coby Chase, and Zach Weaver each had seven points. Patrick Stow had four points; while Eli Martin and Damian Courter each had two.