It took an overtime period, but the Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team advanced to the championship game of the Rivertown Classic Basketball Tournament last Wednesday night with a 47-43 win over South Dearborn.
Both teams started the game out in an offensive deep freeze, with Switzerland County scoring just four points on baskets by Taylar Jordan and Rylee Hankins; but South Dearborn managed just eight points; with Brooke Huddleston hitting a three-pointer and Bryanna Lagreca hitting a three-pointer and a field goal for five points.
The Lady Pacers picked up the pace a bit in the second quarter, scoring eight points to equal the Lady Knights’ second quarter output.
South Dearborn was living and dying by the three-pointer, getting treys from Alyssa McClanahan and Britney Biel to grab a six point lead at the midway point of the period; but Switzerland County got three-pointers from Whitley Schirmer and Kinsley Griffith and a bucket from Hope Tankersley to draw to within four – 20-16 – as the first half came to a close.
The Lady Pacers made their big run in the third quarter, as Schirmer had two straight baskets; Hankins had another inside bucket; and two freethrows by Schirmer gave Switzerland County its first lead of the game with six minutes to go in the quarter.
Those points were part of a big quarter for Schirmer, who would add a three-pointer and two more charities for an 11-point period.
Tankersley had a three-pointer on her way to five points in the quarter; and after three Switzerland County appeared to be in control, leading 30-23.
South Dearborn made its big run in the final quarter, outscoring the Lady Pacers 16-9, and using a tight press defense to push Switzerland County into turnovers.
The Lady Knights were back in front by a score of 38-36 with 56-seconds left; and after the Lady Pacers missed a field goal attempt, Hankins pulled down a huge offensive rebound, and her put-back bucket tied the game at 38-38 with 27-seconds left.
Both squads had freethrow attempts in the closing seconds, but each team could convert just one; and the game went to a four-minute overtime period with the game tied at 39-39.
Switzerland County would score eight points in the overtime session – all from the freethrow line – as Schirmer had five points and Hankins had three to seal the win.
Final score: Switzerland County 47, South Dearborn 43.
Schirmer had a monster game, as the senior finished with 21 points, including two three-pointers and 9-for-10 from the freethrow line.
Tankersley added 10 points in the game to crack double figures; and Hankins was just outside with nine critical points. Griffith had five points; and Jordan added two.
South Dearborn was led by Biel with 13 points; while the trio of McClanahan, Huddleston, and Jaelyn Lows each had seven.
The win pushed Switzerland County’s record to 6-9 overall, and advanced the Lady Pacers to the tournament’s championship game against Lawrenceburg.