Poor shooting dooms the Pacer Sectional hopes as South Ripley wins, 41-33


The Switzerland County Pacers lost a hard fought battle in the opening round of the Class 2A Sectional on Tuesday night, falling to the South Ripley Raiders by a score of 41-33.

With a roaring fan base, the Pacers opened the game on a hot streak offensively, with Cliff Meyer opening the game with an inside basket and Travis Webster followed that with a long distance three-pointer to again ignite a frenzied crowd of Pacer fans.

The Raiders quieted the crowd by answering back with six straight points to take the lead; and both teams spent the remainder of the opening stanza trading buckets, with neither side being able to establish a stronghold on the lead.

After Jordan Hinman scored a bucket for the Pacers to tie the score 8-8; South Ripley’s Michael Fear connected on a three-pointer to give the Raiders an 11-8 lead.

The Pacers then finished the period with Travis Webster hitting a basket to pull within one point, and the quarter ended with South Ripley in front, 11-10.

In the second period the Raiders outscored the Pacers 12-7 to gain a little breathing room on the scoreboard.

Switzerland County struggled offensively in the second period, failing to score until Cliff Meyer converted halfway through the quarter. Mark Sharp also added a bucket; while Jordan Hinman added one from the stripe. Cliff Meyer added another basket and tipped in a missed attempt by Mark Sharp.

After 16 exciting minutes of basketball, the first half ended with the Pacers trailing by a score of 23-19.

Raider Kyle Patrick opened up the second half by scoring a bucket; but after that both teams went into an offensive deep freeze, with neither team scoring until Pacer T.J. Sefton made a three-pointer more than three minutes into the stanza.

The physical battle between the two rivals also meant that both sides spent time at the freethrow line, but neither the Pacers or the Raiders could convert freethrows into points, as Switzerland County was 5-for-10 from the freethrow line in the second half; and South Ripley was 12-for-20.

Jordan Hinman hit a bucket with a minute left in the third quarter to get the Pacers to within two points; but Raider Chris Miller added another point from the freethrow line, and the third quarter ended with South Ripley on top by a score of 29-26.

South Ripley’s Michael Fear opened the final period at the freethrow line, and after making both attempts, the Raiders were again ahead by five points. Kyle Green then coverted a traditional three-point play for the Pacers; but the Raiders countered with more scoring to expand their lead to 35-29.

Switzerland County attempted a run, and when Mark Sharp sliced through the Raider defense for a layup with 3:25 left in the game, the Pacers were within four points, 35-31.

The high humidity in the gym resulted in a slick playing surface, and both teams were whistled for traveling violations while trying to stay on their feet. The slippery floor also cost senior Pacer Travis Webster some time, as he fell hard and injured his ankle in the final quarter, and had to leave the game while being looked at by medical personnel.

Pacer fouls mounted and South Ripley headed to the freethrow line, but gave Switzerland County an opening as they missed four straight attempts, but came away with the offensive rebound in both cases, putting the Pacers back on defense and allowing South Ripley to run the clock.

Down by six with less than a minute to play, senior T. J. Sefton was fouled attempting a three-pointer, and he made the first two attempts before missing the third in an attempt to allow his teammates to grab the rebound.

It didn’t happen, and after Michael Fear cemented the Pacer fate at the freethrow line, the game – and the season – ended for Switzerland County, on the short end of a 41-33 score.

The top scorers for the Pacers were Cliff Meyer and Travis Webster with eight points each. T.J. Sefton and Jordan Hinman each had five points; while Mark Sharp finished with four and Kyle Green chipped in three points.

Poor shooting doomed the Pacers, as the 10-point first quarter was the only period in which Switzerland County reached double figures in scoring. The Pacers also shot just 43-percent from the freethrow line in the game, and shot just 32-percent from the floor.

The loss ended the careers of seven Switzerland County seniors. Aaron Moore, T.J. Sefton, Travis Webster, Bryan Levell, Matt Johnson, Cliff Meyer, and Jordan Hinman saw their high school careers draw to a close on their home floor, and should be congratulated on fine careers.