The Rising Sun Lady Shiners posted a 47 to 39 win over Switzerland County in a hotly contested rivalry game on Friday, Nov. 17th in Rising Sun.
It didn’t count in the Ohio River Valley Conference standings but it did mean the rivalry Ruler of the River plaque. You wouldn’t know that each team entered the game without a win. The game was intense by both teams and student sections as the walls were lined with orange and blue and yellow suns denoting funds donated in honor and support for those who have suffered with cancer.
For Shiner coach Abby Friend she had to block out the emotions as her late father Denny Carrigan was among those honored. But perhaps her toughest moment was keeping her feelings in check as she hugged Switzerland County’s fifth grade teacher Travis Griffith afterwards.
“The crowd was amazing as it always is for this game. We want to thank them for the support they showed for us and the Griffiths!” she exclaimed. “They (players) were amped up. I told them this is just the beginning.”
The Shiners stayed out of foul trouble and cut down on turnovers but their coach was most pleased with the team’s boxing out. “Our defense is getting better. We’re trying to switch it up when we can,” she added.
The game was tied three times in the opening quarter and 7 to 7 at the buzzer.
Sophomore Aleiah Thomas put SC up with a 3-pointer, 10-7.
RS answered with a 9-0 run including baskets by Sydney Pitts and Kinsey Price along with five points by Carrigan including a 3-point play. Rising Sun led 19 to 13 at the half.
The one two punch of Carrigan and junior Danyka Groover led to a 13 point lead early in the second half.
The Pacers closed to within five, 30 to 25, on a basket by junior Calleigh Powell.
Shiner freshman Maddi Wilson answered with a pair of free throws.
SC stayed in touch with Thomas burying a 3-pointer to keep the Pacers within five.
An almost scary ,moment came when Carrigan tried a reverse layup and fell hard to the floor
Wilson and Sydney Bostic scored but Lexi Lay answered with a 3-pointer and McKenli Scudder scored before Groover and Sydney Pitts took the lead to eight only to have Lay step up with another 3-pointer.
Carrigan scored her only 3-pointer off a pass from Groover to close the scoring with under two minutes remaining. Groover picked up a block and Carrigan dribbled out the final 30 seconds
Carrigan led all scorers with 20 points including 7-for-7 at the line plus seven rebounds. Groover added 15 points and 13 rebounds plus two assists, a block and took a charge also. Wilson added four points with Pitts and Bostic scoring three each and Price two.
“I felt like I was back to normal after a few games (missed last season with knee injury),” said Groover after her first double-double. “It felt good. I think I finally got it back.”
Thomas led the Pacers with 12 including a pair of 3-pointers. Scudder added 11. Lay and Kinsley Griffith scored six each. Jody Breeck and Powell had two.
Rising Sun was 16-for-56 from the field and 14-for-19 at the free throw line. The Pacers were 15-for-57 including just 4-for-15 from 3-point land. They were 5-for-10 at the line.
The Pacers had 11 turnovers to Rising Sun’s nine.
The evening ended with the Shiners hoisting the rivalry trophy and singing of the school song.