Poor freethrow shooting dooms Pacers in showdown with Tigers

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The Switzerland County Pacer varsity boys basketball team had a chance to put a stamp on its successful season last Thursday night when Class 2A #5 Lawrenceburg rolled into town; but after battling back and forth in the first half, poor freethrow shooting and suspect defense turned the ballgame into a Tiger blowout.

Lawrenceburg left town with a 75-55 victory, and a firm hold on the label of “favorite” in the upcoming Sectional tournament.

After Kyle Green opened the game with a bucket, Lawrenceburg got baskets from Sean Snider and Sean Powell before Travis Tackett nailed a three-pointer to sneak the Pacers back in front.

Sean Snider, who managed to find holes in the Switzerland County inside defense all night long, scored inside again; but Brennan Bragg matched that.

Lawrenceburg then went on a run, outscoring the Pacers 10-2 over the next two minutes, fueled by three baskets by Sean Powell and a pair of buckets by Jim Faehr. Switzerland County’s only basket came from Kyle Green.

Down 16-9, the Pacers got a three-pointer from Noah Hughes coming out of a timeout; but the Tigers responded with five straight points to go up by nine with two minutes to play.

Switzerland County made another run that stretched over two quarters, as they closed the first period with another three-pointer by Travis Tackett and a buzzer-beater from Kyle Green; and then opened the second quarter with a three-pointer from Noah Hughes to climb back to within one, 21-20.

After Lawrenceburg countered with a pair of baskets, Mark Sharp sliced through the middle for two for the Pacers; but Sean Snider converted a pair of freethrows and a basket to keep the lead at seven.

Brennan Bragg then scored inside; but that led to another Tiger offensive run, this one nine straight points – seven by Jim Faehr.

Suddenly down by 14, Switzerland County scrambled to find some offense, but only managed a freethrow by Kyle Green over a three minute span. Lawrenceburg kept applying the defensive pressure, and although Switzerland County ended the half with two baskets by Brennan Bragg and three freethrows from Mark Sharp, the Pacer faithful saw their 10th-ranked squad walk off of the court at halftime on the short end of a 44-32 score.

The third quarter started with Clay Meyer getting free inside to cut the lead to 10, but Jim Faehr answered that with a three-pointer to keep the Tiger lead in double figures. Switzerland County then got a freethrow from Clay Meyer and a basket by Brennan Bragg, but couldn’t manager to get the lead into single digits.

Lawrenceburg went on another run – this one 11-2 – with the Pacers only managing another bucket by Clay Meyer. Kyle Green made a three-pointer to spark a 6-1 run that ended the third stanza, but after three periods of play, Lawrenceburg still held a 59-45 lead.

The final period started with both teams trading baskets, Switzerland County’s courtesy of Brennan Bragg, but the Pacers simply could not mount an offensive run against the Lawrenceburg defense.

Switzerland County got a freethrow from Mark Sharp; five points from Brennan Bragg; and a basket from Kyle Green to close out the fourth quarter that saw them only score 10 points; while Lawrenceburg was reeling off 16 points to put the game out of reach, winning by 20 points, 75-55.

Freethrow shooting crippled the Pacers, as the squad was only 8-for-18 from the freethrow line, and only once during the entire game did a Switzerland County player make both freethrow attempts, and three of the misses were the front ends of one-and-bonus situations.

Lawrenceburg was 14-for-17 from the freethrow line, including a perfect 6-for-6 in the last quarter of play.

Brennan Bragg led the Pacers with 17 points, and Kyle Green was also in double figures with 14. Mark Sharp and Travis Tackett each finished with six; Clay Meyer had five; Noah Hughes contributed four; and Kameron Pavy chipped in one.

Jim Faehr led all scorers with 28 points; while Sean Snider had 22 and Sean Powell finished with 13.

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The Switzerland County junior varsity boys team came back from an eight point fourth quarter deficit catch Lawrenceburg and send the game into overtime Thursday night; and then won the game in the extra period by a score of 51-48.

Tray Meyer led the Pacers with 18 points, and also had six rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Keegan Kincaid finished with 17 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals; and Adam Clark had six points.

Blake Whitham had five points and three rebounds; Alec McAlpine had three points; and Zach O’Neal finished with two points.