Pacers make nine three-pointers, but fall to Shiners 65-54
The Switzerland County Pacer boys varsity basketball team suffered its sixth loss in its last seven games and its fourth in a row on Friday night, making a massive fourth quarter charge before running out of steam and falling to rival Rising Sun by a final score of 65-54.
The first half was slow moving and low scoring, as Rising Sun led 8-2 after the first period and 17-8 at the half.
Coach Adam Dennis’ troops just couldn’t get the offense rolling in the first quarter, as several shots rolled just off the rim without finding the net. Damian Breeck’s basket at the 3:26 mark was the lone score for the Pacers in the period.
Meanwhile, Rising Sun center T.J. Manifold was having his way inside against Switzerland County defenders, as the senior scored six of the Shiners eight points in the opener.
Things didn’t get much better in the second quarter, as Breeck scored on a tip in off of an offense rebound; but Rising Sun answered with five straight points to push the lead up to nine. Patrick Stow hit a three-pointer for the Pacers; but Manifold went right back to work inside with a bucket; and Breeck’s freethrow at the 5:06 mark was the final time that Switzerland County would score in the half. Rising Sun didn’t fare much better, scoring just two more points before the halftime break to take a 17-8 advantage into the lockerroom.
The third quarter opened with Landon Wilks making a freethrow, but then the Shiners went on a run, reeling off a string of 10 straight points, six by Landon Cole and four by Manifold, to grab a 27-9 lead with 4:17 to go in the period.
Switzerland County’s offense got rolling from there, as Breeck’s basket was followed by a three-pointer from Coby Chase and a three-pointer from Wilks to slice the lead down to 14. After Peyton Merica made a freethrow for Rising Sun; Breeck raced inside for a score; and when Manifold matched that, Breeck got a rebound and a put-back on the offensive end; Chase made two freethrows; Wilks converted a steal into a layup and followed that with a three-pointer; and suddenly the Rising Sun lead was down to six, 34-28, with less than a minute to play.
The Shiners steadied themselves and closed the period with two freethrows from Merica and a basket by Chris Bowne, and the third period ended with the Shiners on top by a 38-28 count.
Breeck opened the fourth period scoring with a basket; but the Shiners responded with two freethrows by Merica and a basket by Chase Kuehn to extend the lead to 12.
The Pacers got into high gear from there, getting two freethrows and a three-pointer by Breeck; and after the Shiners scored again, Wilks connected on another trey.
Ben Hicks then got into the long range shooting with a three-pointer for the Pacers and when Breeck hit another three-pointer, suddenly the game was tied at 44-44 with 3:51 to play.
Then it was Rising Sun’s turn to go on a run, as the Shiners responded out of a timeout with a streak of 11 straight points to go up 55-44 with 2:05 left.
Wilks made a pair of charities to stem the tide; but Kendall Montgomery scored to match that; and after Wilks made another three-pointer; Montgomery scored off a long pass and followed that with a freethrow to keep the lead at 11 with a minute to play.
Continuing to fight hard the entire game, the Pacers got two freethrows from Stow and a basket by Breeck that got it down to eight; but the Shiners sealed the game with a freethrow by Merica and two freethrows from Cole to make the final score 65-54.
Breeck led Switzerland County with 23 points on the night; while Wilks finished in double figures with 18 — including four three-pointers. Stow and Chase each finished with five points; and Hicks added three.
As a team the Pacers made more three-pointers in the game, nine; than they did two-point field goals, eight.
The Shiners were led by Manifold, who finished with 25 points; and Cole had 18 and Merica made it three in double figures, as he had 11. Montgomery finished with five points; while Kuehn, Bowne, and Brady Works each added two.
In the junior varsity game, Rising Sun defeated Switzerland County by a score of 33-24.
Nathan Geyman and Zach Stout led Switzerland County with six points each; while Austin Bosaw had four and Levi Curlin contributed three. Ryan Hughes and Aiden Griffith each had two points; and Cole Riley added one point.