During Switzerland County’s recent four game winning streak, Pacer coach David Todd has been pleased with how his squad has adopted a team-oriented approach to its games.
In wins over New Washington and Milan last weekend, the Pacers averaged 25 assists per game — both victories.
Last Friday night in Versailles, Switzerland County managed only 10 assists in the contest, and that led to an end to the win streak with a 61-46 victory by the Raiders.
“I was disappointed with our selfishness and our intensity tonight,” a solemn Coach Todd said from the locker room. “The last four or five games, we played with a lot of energy, but we sure didn’t tonight.”
Down 19-9 at the end of the first quarter, the Pacers managed to shave a point off of the Raider advantage by halftime, lead by eight first half points by junior guard Chancey May.
Coach Todd said that as poorly as his team played in the first half, he was pleased to only be down by eight at the break. With a fast start in the third quarter, he felt that his squad could get right back in the game.
Trying to kick start the second half, the Pacer coaching staff looked for an offensive spark, and got just that when Chancey May opened the scoring with a three-pointer that cut the lead to five.
South Ripley responded by not letting the Pacers get its offensive footing, storming back to take a 10-point lead at the midway point of the period.
The Swiss did make a run as the third quarter wound down, getting within three at the 2:37 mark on a three-pointer from Chancey May and a steal and layup from Travis Webster.
But the Pacers could sustain that intensity on the road, as South Ripley responded with sharp ball movement. Two freethrows by Raider A. J. Phillippe with three seconds to play pushed the South Ripley lead back to nine, and essentially sucked the air out of the Switzerland County offense.
“They came out and played a physical game,” David Todd said of the Raiders. “The referees were prepared to let both teams have a physical game, but we just didn’t step up.”
With a team filled with underclassmen, Switzerland County is a team that their coach feels needs to share the offensive load in order to be successful. Friday night that just didn’t happen.
“I just think we were more selfish tonight than we have been in the past few games, and that contributed to this loss,” Coach Todd said. “Our energy and intensity just wasn’t there tonight. It’s disappointing to see us play as selfishly as we did tonight.”
David Todd did say that Chancey May and Travis Webster played well offensively in the contest, and the Raiders left the door open for a Switzerland County victory by shooting just 12-for-28 from the freethrow line.
The loss also hampers Switzerland County’s bid to claim the conference championship. Coming into the contest with a 3-1 ORVC mark, a win at Versailles last Friday would have put the Pacers in position to play Jac-Cen-Del on February 18th to the conference crown.
Chancey May led the Pacers with 18 points on the night, while Travis Webster finished with 10. B.J. Shelton scored seven points; Mat Deaton added six; and Josh Snow contributed five points.
The Pacers made 10 two-pointers in the contest to go with seven three-pointers; and were 5-for-8 from the freethrow line.
South Ripley had four players in double figures, led by Michael Fear’s 16. Michael Mathews and Tyler Ester both added 11; and Jacob Lemon had 10. The Raiders made 17 two-point field goals; five three-point field goals; and were just 12-for-28 from the freethrow line.
The Pacers return to action tonight (Thursday) with a home game with Lawrenceburg. The junior varsity game gets underway at 6 p.m.