The Switzerland County Pacers used a big first quarter and balanced scoring to take over Friday night’s conference game against Southwestern, removing all intrigue early in a 34-point blowout, 77-43.
Switzerland County came out hot and stayed that way, racing off to a 20-5 lead early in the first quarter.
After Southwestern’s Jordan Perry made two freethrows to open the scoring, Switzerland County got an inside basket by Alex Curran to tie the score. The Rebels then got a three-pointer from Gunnar Henry to take a 5-2 lead with 6:55 to go.
That’s when the Pacer offense switched to high gear.
Austin Clark started the run with a pair of freethrows; followed by another inside basket by Alex Curran. Quinn Meyer then hit a three-pointer; Austin Clark followed with a power move to the bucket; and Keegan Kincaid hit a jumper.
Southwestern Coach Andy Firth then called a timeout to calm his squad with 4:48 to play.
It didn’t help.
Trevor Smith hit a runner; followed by a three-pointer from Austin Clark and another jumper by Keegan Kincaid.
Southwestern timeout number two with 3:31 to go, and the Pacers held a 2-5 advantage.
Gunnar Henry made a pair of freethrows coming out of the timeout to stop the run; but the Pacers got another tip in basket by Alex Curran and a bucket from Austin Clark to swell the lead to 24-7.
Logan Hamilton made two freethrows for Southwestern; but Austin Clark scored inside again; and after Gunnar Henry made the Rebels’ second field goal of the quarter with a minute to play, the Pacers capped off the scoring with another basket by Trevor Smith.
At the end of a high-octane first quarter, Switzerland County found itself in front by a 28-11 margin.
It would get worse.
Quinn Meyer opened the second period for the Pacers with a basket; and Jordan Perry scored inside for Southwestern to keep the lead at 17.
The Pacers then went on another run, getting a three-pointer and an inside basket from Austin Clark and a three-pointer by Keegan Kincaid to push the lead to 30-13. Southwestern responded, getting a basket by Gunnar Henry and a three-pointer from LaMarkus Jenkins – but Keegan Kincaid’s jumper put an end to the Rebel charge.
Southwestern got four more points; but the Pacers ended the half with two straight baskets from Alex Curran, and at the half, Switzerland County was clearly in command, leading by a 44-22 count.
The third quarter was evenly played, with Gunnar Henry doing damage for the Rebels with a basket and a three-pointer to open the quarter. Switzerland County got another bucket from Alex Curran and a basket by Quinn Meyer, and a bucket by Jordan Perry made the score 48-29 in favor of the Pacers with five minutes to play.
The Pacers again stepped on the offensive gas, getting a basket by Alex Curran, a three-pointer from Keegan Kincaid, and a freethrow by Austin Clark to jump the lead up to 25. Jordan Perry then made two freethrows for Southwestern; followed by a Pacer bucket from Anthony Dennis.
The quarter closed with the Rebels getting two more baskets; and Switzerland County’s Trevor Smith converting on a runner in the lane, and with a period to play, the Pacers held a 58-35 lead.
Keegan Kincaid opened the final quarter with a jumper; and after Jordan Perry scored inside; Alex Curran matched that with a rebound basket. Southwestern then got a basket and a freethrow to cut the lead to 23; but the Pacers again went on a run, getting a pair of buckets from Quinn Meyer and a basket by Austin Clark. After Southwestern got another basket; Quinn Meyer hit a freethrow and Keegan Kincaid made another three-pointer before Pacer Coach B.J. McAlister cleared his bench and put in his subs with two minutes to play.
Bob Tressler and Nathan Hunter completed the scoring for Switzerland County, and the final buzzer sounded with the Pacers on top, 77-43.
It was a balanced offensive explosion for Switzerland County, led by Austin Clark with 19 points. Keegan Kincaid was right behind with 18 points, including four three-pointers; and Alex Curran poured in 16 points. Quinn Meyer rounded out the double figure scorers, finishing with 12.
Trevor Smith had six points; while Anthony Dennis, Nathan Hunter, and Bob Tressler had two each.
Gunnar Henry led Southwestern with 17 points; and Jordan Perry was in double figures with 14.
Switzerland County returns to action this Saturday night when the Pacers travel to Rising Sun to take on the Shiners in the battle for the “Ruler of the River” trophy. The Pacers won the first meeting between the two teams 61-39 on December 9th; but Rising Sun bounced back with a 49-45 win in the consolation round of the Rivertown Classic on January 6th.
In Friday night’s junior varsity action, Southwestern defeated Switzerland County by a score of 44-40.
T.J. White had 11 points and seven rebounds; and Justus Powell had 11 points and four rebounds to lead Switzerland County in scoring. Braden Burk had nine points; Bob Tressler added seven points; and Riley Phagan had two points.