Strong first half leads Pacers to Homecoming win

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Using a big first half, the Switzerland County Pacer boys varsity basketball team earned a Homecoming win over New Washington on Friday night by a final score of 63-36.

In front of a near-capacity crowd, Switzerland County got off to a quick start. After the Mustangs’ Hunter Miles opened the game with a three-pointer; the Pacers went on a run of 11 straight points.

Damian Breeck hit a jumper and quickly followed that with a three-pointer; and after Tyler Konkle hit a freethrow, Justin Chatham hit a jumper and Breeck then hit his second three-pointer of the streak, pushing the Pacers out to an 11-3 lead.

Coming out of a timeout, Bo Giltner hit a three-pointer for New Washington; but Austin South hit a jumper to quash any attempt at a Mustang run; and Spencer Tye scored for New Washington and Breeck closed the quarter with a jumper that made the score 15-8 after one period.

South opened the second quarter with a basket, and then the Mustangs went on a three-point spree – as Giltner hit a long one and Tye hit two in a row – with suddenly with 3:45 to go in the period, the game was tied at 17-17.

Breeck hit two freethrows to push the Pacers back in front; but Giltner tied it again with a jumper with three minutes to go.

Then it was time for another Pacer run, this time 10 straight points.

Kyle Whitham opened the run with a traditional three-point play; and Breeck then hit his third three-pointer. Whitham then followed that with two straight buckets inside, and the score stood at 29-19 with 10-seconds left.

Giltner gave New Washington a little spark, as he drilled his third three-pointer at the buzzer to narrow the gap to seven, 29-22, at the half.

The Pacers continued their hot streak as the second half opened, as South hit a jumper, Whitham converted another three-point play, Konkle made an inside bucket, and Breeck hit a runner to fuel a nine-point run and extend the lead to 16.

Giltner hit a freethrow and a basket to give the Mustangs some hope; but Breeck hit another jumper at the 4:17 mark. Tye then followed that with his third trey of the game; but the Pacers got baskets from South, Whitham, and Cade Rider to extend the lead to 18.

After Miles made a basket for New Washington, the Pacers had a big chance to salt the game away when Whitham was fouled as he made the basket and the senior again went to the line for another three-point play opportunity. This time, his freethrow attempt bounced free, but Rider pulled down the offensive rebound and was fouled as he went up for a shot attempt. Those two freethrow attempts failed to find the range, however, but New Washington couldn’t take advantage of the misses; and moments later South converted a three-point play and Doug Pedraza followed that with a basket, and the third quarter closed with the Pacers in firm control, 53-30.

New Washington attempted to make a comeback as the fourth quarter started, getting two straight buckets from A.J. Walter – and again it was time for another Switzerland County run, again nine straight.

Konkle started the run with a freethrow; and Tyler Perry followed that with a basket. South then hit four straight freethrows; and Pedraza capped the run with his second basket. With two minutes to play, Switzerland County was in front 62-34.

The game closed with Miles hitting another basket, and Coby Chase made a freethrow for Switzerland County to make the final margin of victory 27 points – 63-36.

Breeck led Switzerland County with 19 points, including three three-pointers; while South finished with 15 points and Whitham was in double figures with 14 points.

Konkle and Pedraza each added four points; Chatham, Rider, and Perry each had two; and Chase contributed one.

Giltner led New Washington with 14 points; and Tye was in double figures with 11.

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In the junior varsity game, Switzerland County earned a 56-35 victory over the Mustangs.

Zach Weaver led the way with another strong game, finishing with 17 points; while Coby Chase was also in double figures, putting up 14 points.

Landon Wilks had eight points; Patrick Stow added seven points; Eli Martin had six points; and Damian Courter finished with four points.