Slow start dooms Lady Pacers

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The Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team got off to a slow start last Thursday night in hosting South Decatur, and that start led to a big home loss for Switzerland County.

“We just didn’t play very well,” head coach Wayne Ellegood said. “I just think that we haven’t handled playing back-to-back games. It’s something that we’ve got to overcome.”

After traveling to Milan last Tuesday and manhandling the Lady Indians, Switzerland County came out at home on Thursday night and looked flat, getting outscored 24-11 in the opening period.

Switzerland County rebounded in the second period to play even with the Lady Cougars – both teams scoring 12 points – but unable to cut into the lead, the Lady Pacers found themselves down by 13 at the half.

Hoping to get the third period off to a good start, instead Switzerland County started the second half like it started the game – flat offensively.

South Decatur again took advantage, scoring 29 points in the third period alone to just 14 for the Lady Pacers.

By the end of three quarters, South Decatur held a 55-37 lead, and the outcome was decided.

Switzerland County again played well in the final stanza, being outscored only 14-10 over the final eight minutes, but at the final buzzer, South Decatur captured a 79-47 victory.

“At the beginning of the year, we knew we were going to have game like this,” a philosophical Coach Ellegood said. “These games give you experience, and we’ve got to find that out the hard way sometimes.”

Although no coach likes to lose, with just five games in the books for Switzerland County so far in the season, Wayne Ellegood sees last Thursday’s game as a teaching tool.

“You learn most from losses a lot of the time,” he said. “Both the players and the coaches. We just have to stay positive and keep doing the right things. It’s going to pay off for us.”

The inexperience of Switzerland County showed in some of the game statistics, as the Lady Pacers committed 22 turnovers and were just 13-for-22 from the freethrow line. South Decatur won the rebounding battle by a 43-32 count.

Maggie Armstrong led Switzerland County with 13 points; while sophomore Kristen Perry had an outstanding game, finishing with 12 points and adding 11 rebounds.

Katie Rayls finished with six points; Hailee Smith and Jenna Daugherty each finished with four; and Carrie Truax, Bre Hinman, and Hayley South all had two apiece. Lindsay Scott contributed one point.

The Lady Pacer are currently in the midst of a nine-day layoff, and won’t play again until this Saturday evening when the teams travel to Oldenburg Academy.

“We don’t know that much about them,” Wayne Ellegood said of Oldenburg Academy. “It’s a chance for us to go on the road and play hard and get a win, and that’s what we’re focused on.”

After Saturday’s game at Oldenburg, the Lady Pacers enter what might arguably be one of the key weeks of their season.

Switzerland County will host South Ripley this Tuesday evening; and will then travel to Southwestern to play the Lady Rebels next Thursday.

“The Oldenburg game will help get us ready for two pretty good opponents that we’ll see next week,” the coach said. “We’re looking forward to it.”