The Switzerland County Pacers got an outstanding game from senior Tyler Konkle on Friday night, but it wasn’t enough, as the Pacers fell to the top-ranked Southwestern Rebels by a score of 79-51.
Southwestern, ranked number one in Class 2A, found itself in a struggle throughout the game, but in the end pulled away on the strength of big offensive second and third quarters to claim the win.
The Pacers got off to a hot start, getting a basket by Dalton Tingle and a three-pointer by Damian Breeck to jump out to a five point lead.
Southwestern responded with a three-pointer and a field goal by Tyler Kramer to knot the score; but Konkle got free inside on two straight trips, and his buckets again gave Switzerland County a four point advantage.
Following a Rebel timeout, Kramer hit a three-pointer; but Breeck answered that with his second trey of the game. A basket by Matthew Williams at the buzzer cut the Switzerland County lead to one at the first break, 14-13.
Southwestern came out hot in the second period, with Kramer making two freethrows and then making a steal and converting that into a layup that gave the Rebels a three-point lead.
Again the Pacers went inside to Konkle, and the senior responded again with a bucket to cut the deficit down to one.
Southwestern responded again, this time getting two freethrows from Foster Mefford and a steal and layup by Mefford to make the lead five; and after Zach Weaver scored inside for Switzerland County, the Rebels got a basket from Zach Cole and a three-pointer by Williams to push the lead up to eight and force Pacer coach Adam Dennis into a timeout.
Out of the break, Mefford made two more freethrows; but Patrick Stow stopped the run with a jumper in the lane for Switzerland County.
Southwestern then went on another run, getting a three-pointer from Williams and layups by Mefford and Kramer to extend the lead to 15 points — 35-20 — with 1:46 until the half.
Breeck scored out of another Pacer timeout; but Kramer closed the half with two more freethrows, and the teams headed to the lockerroom with the Rebels in front, 37-22.
Switzerland County battled foul trouble throughout the half, with Coby Chase sitting much of the half with three personals; while Landon Wilks, Tingle, and Konkle all spent time on the bench with two fouls each.
Southwestern as a team was whistled with one personal foul over the first two quarters.
Mefford opened the third quarter with a layup, but Konkle powered his way inside for another bucket to get the Pacers started. Austin Kramer came off the bench to connect on a three-pointer for the Rebels, and that was followed by another Mefford layup that extended the lead to 20.
Again Konkle stopped the run with a basket; but Southwestern quickly started another one, getting a three-pointer by Williams, a layup from Mefford, another three-pointer by Williams, and a three-point play by Cole to make the score 55-26 with 2:49 to go.
Konkle got the ball insider again and made the bucket and was fouled, and then converted the freethrow for the three-point play; and during that play, Mefford was hit with a technical foul for the Rebels. That sent Breeck to the line, and the junior made both of those freethrows, and with possession and down, 55-31, it seemed as though the Pacers were mounting a comeback. That speculation ended quickly, however, as Kramer made the steal and converted it into a layup; and Billy Eccles followed that with a layup that extended the Rebel lead to 28.
Konkle scored again, as the Rebels didn’t have an answer for the senior center; and a layup by Austin Kramer for the Rebels closed the third quarter with Southwestern in front, 61-33.
Williams opened the final stanza with a basket; and that was followed by a basket by Breeck. Williams scored again, and that was countered by a bucket from Weaver. Williams then hit a three-pointer; but Chase hit a basket to keep the Switzerland County offense flowing. Williams then closed his night with his ninth straight point, making the lead 70-39, and the game was secured.
The Pacers kept battling, as Wilks hit a three-pointer and Breeck made a steal and converted the layup; but Kramer converted a pair of freethrows and Austin Kramer followed that with a three-pointer — and it was time for the subs to finish up the contest for both squads.
Konkle scored once more before heading to the bench for the evening; and after Kramer scored, Weaver converted a three-point play and Eli Martin wrapped up the Pacer scoring with a basket inside, and time expired with Southwestern out in front, 79-51.
Konkle had a huge night, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds and an assist; while Breeck was also in double figures, scoring 14 points and adding seven rebounds and three assists.
Weaver continued his valuable contributions, scoring seven points and grabbing three rebounds; Wilks had three points and two assists; Stow had two points and three assists; and Chase had two points, four rebounds and three assists. Tingle had two points and four rebounds; and Martin added two points.
Williams led Southwestern with 22 points; Tyler Kramer had 22 points; and Mefford finished with 14.
Switzerland County returns home tomorrow (Friday) night to host Rising Sun for Homecoming.
In the junior varsity game, Southwestern defeated Switzerland County 36-30.
Eli Martin led Switzerland County with 13 points in the contest; while Ben Hicks finished with five. Damion Courter had four points; Aaron Scudder and Nate Geyman each contributed three points; and Bryce Turner chipped in two.