Williams scores 22, but Pacers fall to Shiners in Rivertown consolation, 62-53


Williams scores 22, but Pacers fall to Shiners in Rivertown consolation, 62-53

  Battling in the consolation game of the Rivertown Classic Tournament, Coach Travis Wrightsman’s Switzerland County Pacer varsity basketball team fell into an early deficit before mounting a frenzied comeback that fell just short, losing to Rising Sun by a final score of 63-53.

  Jacob Williams kicked off the scoring for the Pacers with a three-pointer; but Rising Sun got a three-pointer on its next possession from Dylan Martin to knot the score.

  Dylan Sullivan scored inside for the Pacers; but Peyton Merica matched that. Sullivan then scored again at the six minute mark, and Switzerland County held an early 7-5 lead.

  That’s when the Shiners made a run, scoring six straight points as Merica converted two freethrows and followed that with a field goal and Nate Elliott had a basket.

  After a Pacer timeout, Canaan Johnson got an offensive rebound and converted that for a bucket; but Martin drilled a three-pointer to halt hopes of a Pacer run.

  Cooper Todd made a three-pointer for the Pacers; but Rising Sun answered that with another bucket by Merica and another three-pointer by Martin. Brady Works made a steal and converted a layup for the Shiners, and when Martin made a jumper, Rising Sun moved out to a 23-12 advantage.

  Two freethrows by Canaan Johnson narrowed the gap to nine, and the first quarter ended with Rising Sun in front by a score of 23-14.

  The second period kicked off with Ben Shorten hitting a three-pointer for the Shiners; and Martin followed that with another three-pointer to boost the lead to 15, 29-14.

  The Pacers tried to answer, as Williams connected on a three-pointer and then went to the freethrow line for a pair of charities. He missed both attempts, but as the second rolled off, Aiden Griffith snatched the rebound and made the put back that got the deficit back down to 10 ­— but those would be the only points that Switzerland County would score in the quarter.

  Again the Shiners responded, with Martin making his fifth three-pointer of the half; Elliott hit a trey; and Works followed those with a three-pointer, and suddenly the Shiners held a 38-19 advantage.

  Symbolic of the Pacer struggles came seconds later, when a jumper by Austin Hemingway stuck between the rim and the backboard — Switzerland County keeping the ball on the alternating possession.

  A late bucket by Merica sent the teams into the lockerroom with the Shiners holding a 40-19 lead.

  Things got worse coming out of the break, as Rising Sun got a basket by Merica, two freethrows by Works, and a basket by Martin to extend the lead to 46-19 with five minutes left.

  The Pacer offense began to roar to life at that point, as Williams made a three-pointer and Griffith followed that with a three-pointer. Morris made a three-pointer for the Shiners, but Williams scored on a short jumper for Switzerland County to make the score 49-27 with just over three minutes to go.

  That’s when Pacer Cooper Todd took over, as the sophomore would erupt for 11 straight points to end the period.

  Todd made a three-pointer; then converted a runner down the baseline; then made another three-pointer. After Shiner Payton Creech made a put back; Todd closed the quarter with another three-pointer, and the teams headed into the final quarter with Rising Sun ahead by 13 points, 51-38.

  Merica opened the final stanza with a freethrow; but Williams hit a jumper. Morris scored for the Shiners and Works made two freethrows that extended the Rising Sun lead up to 16 points, 56-40, with six minutes remaining.

  That’s when the Pacers made a run.

  Williams made three freethrows; and Kadyn Riley made two freethrows in place of an injured Sullivan that got the lead down to 10.

  After Merica made two freethrows; Williams went off for Switzerland County as the junior scored six straight points — cutting the deficit down to seven with just under three minutes to go.

  Rising Sun responded at the line, as Merica and Braylon Williams each made two freethrows — but Todd again found the range, making the score 62-53 with 40-seconds to go.

  Neither team could find the scoring range in that final minute, and the final margin was nine points, 62-53.

  Williams led Switzerland County with 22 points, while Todd finished with 16.

  Griffith had five points; Sullivan and Canaan Johnson each had four; and Riley added two.

  Martin led Rising Sun with 19 points — including five first half three-pointers; while Merica had 17 points.

  Works had nine points; Morris and Elliott had five each; Shorten had three; while Williams and Creech each had two.

  A big deciding factor came at the charity stripe, where the Pacers were just 7-for-16 while the Shiners were 13-for-15