Switzerland County starts fast, then holds on for wintry victory over Raiders, 54-52


After Saturday’s winter storm blew through, many residents thought that there was little chance of Switzerland County and South Ripley playing their basketball game in Versailles on Saturday night.

The naysayers proved wrong, however, as the roads cleared and the Pacers were able to travel to Tyson Auditorium and come home with a 54-52 win.

Coach Brian Bowen’s Pacers came out hot offensively, getting a basket by Brennan Bragg and a three-pointer from Kyle Green to open the contest. South Ripley stayed right with their guests, however, as B.J. Sieverding also had a three-pointer and Kyle Patrick had a bucket.

South Ripley moved ahead by a score of 8-7 on a basket by Trent Tucker, but that sparked an eight point run by Switzerland County. The onslaught was fueled by two three-pointers from senior Devon Armstrong, with a basket by Daniel Welch sandwiched in between.

Thomas Welch managed two freethrows for South Ripley as the opening period closed, and the Pacers held a 15-10 advantage.

The Pacers would work their lead to as many as 11 during the second stanza, getting timely buckets from Kyle Green, Devon Armstrong, and Daniel Welch; and also freethrows from Kyle Green and Brandon Otter. Michael Haas’ three-pointer pushed the lead to 11, 27-16, as the first half ended.

The lead would continue to build as the third quarter got underway, with the Pacers getting baskets from Brennan Bragg and Brandon Otter to extend the advantage to 31-16. Trent Tucker got a couple of baskets inside for the Raiders, but Mark Sharp knifed through the lane to counter that, and Kyle Green’s jumper pushed the lead back to 15, 35-20, with less than two minutes to play.

Trent Tucker made two freethrows, but the Pacers would jump out to their biggest lead of the night, as a basket by Kyle Green and a three-pointer and a basket by Mark Sharp made the score 40-22 with less than a minute to play. Thomas Welch then scored inside, and both teams headed to the bench at the end of the third period with the Pacers in control, 40-24.

But the Raiders didn’t plan on going away quietly, and South Ripley began to chip away at the Switzerland County lead as the final quarter got underway.

Devon Armstrong scored for the Pacers, but South Ripley responded with a basket by Thomas Welch and a three-pointer by B.J. Sieverding. Devon Armstrong then converted a traditional three-point play to push the lead back to 16; but South Ripley got a bucket from Chase Grider and two baskets by Trent Tucker to climb to within 10.

Daniel Welch stopped the bleeding temporarily with a freethrow; but South Ripley then got another three-pointer by B.J. Sieverding to get within eight.

Switzerland County responded with a basket by Brennan Bragg and a freethrow by Mark Sharp; but South Ripley then went on a run of six straight points to close to within five with just over a minute to play.

Kyle Green made two freethrows, but B.J. Sieverding drilled another three-pointer; and after Kyle Green converted two more charities, Thomas Welch’s bucket kept the deficit at four.

Switzerland County then stumbled at the freethrow line, as Kyle Green missed a pair; and when B.J. Sieverding made his fourth three-pointer of the quarter moments later, South Ripley was within a point.

South Ripley coach Scott Holdsworth then targeted Daniel Welch for a quick foul, and after he was mugged by Raider Brian Thomas, the senior made one of two attempts to push the lead back to two.

South Ripley’s attempt to get the ball upcourt came to an end with a Pacer steal, and Switzerland County escaped with a 54-52 win.

Devon Armstrong and Kyle Green shared the team lead with 13 points each, and Mark Sharp and Brennan Bragg each contributed seven points. Daniel Welch finished with six; Brandon Otter and Michael Haas both had three; and Clay Meyer contributed two.

B.J. Sieverding led South Ripley with 17 points; and Trent Tucker finished with 16.


In the junior varsity game, Switzerland County defeated South Ripley by a score of 32-30.

Alec McAlpine led the Pacers with seven points; while Tray Meyer finished with six and Kameron Pavy and Justin Reagan each added five. Travis Tackett had four points; Noah Hughes had three; and Danny Schira finished with two.