Pacers open season with loss to Hauser, 50-45

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The Switzerland County boys varsity basketball team tipped off its 2016-2017 season last Tuesday night with a Pre-Thanksgiving clash with the Hauser Jets. After a closely played first half, the Jets put together a big third quarter of play, and then held on at the end for a 50-45 win over the host Pacers.

The first quarter saw the teams battle to take control offensively, with senior Pacer Dakota Fuller setting the pace early, accounting for seven points over the first eight minutes, including a three-pointer. Casper Stow also had a three-pointer in the opening stanza; while Justin Green converted two buckets in the paint and Kollin Hayes also had a basket.

But Hauser was just as efficient in the first period, as the Jets got five points from Mason Sherman; four points from Justin Compton and Alex Gross; and a three-pointer from Connor Wilson to finish off their own strong quarter.

After one, the teams were knotted at 16-16.

The Pacers took control in the second period, outscoring their guests by a 12-8 count to take a 28-24 lead into the halftime break.

Fuller continued his hot shooting in the quarter, hitting another three-pointer and converting two freethrows for another five points. Kyle Whitham also had a three-pointer in the quarter; while Austin South and Tyler Konkle each had baskets coming off of the bench.

But it was the third quarter that swung control of the game, as Hauser outscored Switzerland County 15-7 over the stretch to erase the deficit and claim their own four-point lead.

The Pacers suffered through a frigid shooting streak in the third, missing some opportunities while battling through a stingy Jet press defense.

South connected on a three-pointer; while Whitham and Hunter Hayes each had baskets; but Hauser showed off its offensive balance, with seven different Jets scoring in the stretch.

Down by four, Switzerland County didn’t quit, and came out of the break working hard to climb back in front. Kollin Hayes led the way, scoring eight points on a couple of three-pointers as well as two freethrows; and Whitham also had another basket to account for the 10 points the Pacers would score.

Unfortunately, Hauser managed 11 points in the final stanza, including going 5-for-10 from the freethrow line as whistles were abundant over the last eight minutes.

Final score: Hauser 50, Switzerland County 45.

Fuller led the Pacers with 12 points; while Kollin Hayes was also in double figures, adding 10. Whitham had a solid game off the bench, finishing with seven points; with South contributing five. Green had four; Stow had three; and Konkle and Hunter Hayes each chipped in two.

For Hauser, Wilson had 12 points; Gross and Sherman each had nine; and Compton had eight.

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In the junior varsity game, Hauser won by a final score of 40-35.

For Switzerland County, Cade Rider was the leading scorer with 11 points; while Damian Breeck had nine.

Tyler Konkle and Kyle Whitham each had five points; Coby Chase had three points; and Zach Weaver added two points.