Pacers open season with win over Hilltoppers as Brennan Bragg scores 20

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Led by a strong inside game from junior Brennan Bragg, the Switzerland County Pacer varsity boys basketball team opened its season last Tuesday night with a 66-44 victory over Madison Shawe.

The Pacer offense got off to a fast start, as Kyle Green was fouled attempting a three-pointer, and the senior made all three attempts. That was followed by an inside bucket by Clay Meyer off of a nice assist by Mark Sharp; and when Brennan Bragg got loose inside moments later, Switzerland County had a 7-0 lead.

Shawe coach Jerry Bomholt called a timeout to try and stem the tide, but Mark Sharp connected out of the break to extend the lead to nine. Shawe’s Nick Hall finally got the Hilltoppers on the board with a three-pointer at the 3:49 mark; but that was matched by a three-pointer from Kyle Green.

Brennan Bragg scored again on an assist from Mark Sharp to push the Pacer lead to 14-3; and the Hilltoppers closed the opening period with a three-pointer by Michael Kring to make the score 14-6 at the first break.

The second quarter opened with Kyle Green connecting to make the lead 10; but Michael Kring hit another three-pointer – the team’s third of the contest – for the Hilltoppers.

Brennan Bragg then made a freethrow and followed that with two straight buckets; and when Mark Sharp converted a traditional three-point play at the 4:24 mark; the Pacer lead had ballooned to 24-9.

The Madison Shawe team was outmanned inside; so the Hilltoppers were forced to try and stay in the game from the perimeter. They kept things close with their fourth three-pointer – the second by Nick Hall – at the halfway point of the period; but again Switzerland County responded, getting a rebound basket by Brennan Bragg and a three-pointer from Travis Tackett.

The first points that Shawe scored that weren’t from beyond the three-point line was at the 2:59 mark, when Michael Kring made two freethrows. Nico Mingione then scored a two-pointer; but Noah Hughes made a three-pointer for the Pacers to double up the score, 32-16.

Shawe scored the final points of the first half with two freethrows from Jacob Sanders; but the half ended with the Pacers holding a commanding, 32-18 lead.

Switzerland County kept up the pressure coming out of the lockerroom, getting two freethrows from Kyle Green and a bucket from Clay Meyer. Jacob Sanders then scored for Madison Shawe; but the Pacers got baskets from Brennan Bragg and Travis Tackett to push the lead to 20 points, 40-20.

With the game firmly in hand, the Pacers would move the lead to 24 points by the end of the third quarter; getting two baskets and a three-point play from Brennan Bragg; a bucket by Clay Meyer; and a three-pointer and a basket from Kyle Green.

With a quarter to play, the Pacers were in control, 54-30.

The lead swelled to 28 as the final quarter got underway, with Clay Meyer making a freethrow; and Travis Tackett hitting a three-pointer and a basket. Both teams then traded baskets through the stretch run of the period, with Switzerland County getting points from Kyle Green and Brennan Bragg.

Madison Shawe closed the gap with the game out of reach, getting six straight points; but Noah Hughes converted two freethrows to put the icing on the game; and the contest ended with the Pacers winning by a 66-44 count.

Brennan Bragg led the way for the Pacers with 20 points, and he also added six rebounds.

Kyle Green had 17 points, three rebounds, and three assists; and Travis Tackett made it three Pacers in double figures, recording 10 points and five rebounds.

Clay Meyer had nine points and three rebounds; and Noah Hughes had five points and two rebounds.

Senior Mark Sharp had a solid all-around game, finishing with five points, six rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

For the game, the Pacers were 25-for-46 from the floor (54.3-percent); and 11-for-15 from the freethrow line (73.3-percent).

Madison Shawe was led by Michael Kring with 17 points; and Jacob Sanders finished with 12.

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The Switzerland County junior varsity also captured its opening game of the season, posting a 42-18 win over the Hilltoppers.

Sophomore Blake Whitham led the Pacers with 14 points, including four three-pointers; and freshman Keegan Kincaid and sophomore Tray Meyer were both in double figures with 10 each.

Danny Schira had three points; Josh Hon and Adam Clark had two each; and Zach O’Neal added one.