Cam Craig scores 30 as Pacers earn first victory of the season, 68-64
Freshman Cam Craig scored 30 points in his high school home debut to lead the Switzerland County Pacer boys varsity basketball team to a hard fought 68-64 win over Austin on Saturday night.
Austin got on the board first with a basket by Peyton Gwin, but Craig opened the Pacer scoring moments later with a traditional three-point play to give Switzerland County a one point edge
Gwin and Craig then traded baskets; but the Eagles followed that with a three-pointer by Brysen Montgomery and another bucket by Gwin to grab a 9-5 lead.
The Pacer powered back, getting a three-pointer by Craig and a trey from Bryce Turner to take an 11-9 advantage.
Austin re-took the lead on a three-pointer from Montgomery; but Craig again answered with an inside bucket. Gwin hit a runner to give the Eagles a 14-13 lead at the 2:38 mark; but the Pacers responded with baskets by Turner and Jacob Williams to push Switzerland County back in front.
A three-pointer by Garrison Barton tied the game at 17-17 for Austin, but Switzerland County took another lead at the end of the quarter when Bryce Wrightsman converted a traditional three-point play.
The exciting first quarter closed with the Pacers holding a 20-17 lead.
Turner opened the second quarter for the Pacers with a pair of freethrows to extend the lead to five; and after Gwin scored again, Switzerland County got a three-pointer from Turner and a bucket by Craig to moved the lead out to eight, 27-19.
After an Austin timeout, the Eagles got a three-pointer from Barton and a basket by Montgomery to close to within three; but Williams powered his way to the rim for a basket to stop that run and push the Pacers back to a five point advantage.
Gwin scored again for the Eagles; but again Switzerland County responded, getting a three-pointer from Colton Tolbert and two freethrows from Williams, making the score 34-26 in favor of the Pacers with 1:43 left until halftime.
Gwin hit a three-pointer to keep the Eagles close; and after Craig scored again; Austin closed the first half with a three-pointer by Braydon Furnish to send the teams to the locker room with the Pacers holding a 36-32 lead.
The second half opened with Austin getting a three-pointer from Cameron Richey to creep to within a point; but Switzerland County got a three-pointer and two freethrows by Turner and another bucket by Williams to take an eight point lead.
Montgomery responded with another three-pointer — his third of the contest — but Craig again stopped any potential run by the Eagles with a basket.
Richey then hit his second three-pointer of the third quarter for the Eagles, but the Pacers went on another mini run.
Turner was fouled shooting a three-pointer and proceeded to convert all three freethrows; and Craig followed that seconds later with a traditional three-point play to give Switzerland County its largest lead of the game — 51-41 — with four minutes left in the period.
Gwin got hot again for Austin, hitting two straight baskets, and Brendan Hanner followed those with a jumper to quickly close the gap to four with less than a minute to play.
Trace Johnson hit a critical bucket for the Pacers with 14-seconds to go; and the period ended with Barton hitting another three-pointer to make the score 53-50 in favor of the Pacers.
The final stanza got underway with Wrightsman hitting a pair of freethrows to push the lead to five; but again Gwin responded, this time hitting a three-pointer to slice the gap to two.
Craig scored again; but Gwin made two freethrows. Wrightsman made a freethrow; but Austin got a basket from Baylee Coomer and a three-point play by Gwin, and with 3:25 left in the game, Austin suddenly had a 60-58 lead.
The freshman started a run with a three-pointer that regained the lead for Switzerland County; then followed that with a freethrow and then another inside bucket, and with 1:44 to play, the Pacers held a 64-60 advantage.
Austin then got two freethrows from Hanner; but Craig matched that with another basket; and after Austin got a basket from Covin Ray; the Pacers sealed the game and the win with Craig and Wrightsman each making a freethrow to make the final score 68-64 in favor of Switzerland County.
Craig led all scorers with 30 points on the night, hitting 10 field goals and two three-pointers and converted four of six freethrows.
Turner had an outstanding game, scoring 18 points on a field goal, three three-pointers, and was 7-for-9 from the charity stripe. Williams had three field goals and was a perfect 2-for-2 at the line for eight points; and Wrightsman finished with seven on a field goal and five freethrows in seven attempts.
Tolbert had three points on a three-pointer; and Trace Johnson added two.
Gwin led Austin with 27 points; and Montgomery was also in double figures with 11.
In Saturday night’s junior varsity game, Switzerland County earned a 30-25 victory over Austin.
The Pacers were led in the contest by Austin Hemingway with 11 points; while Bradley Romans added seven.
Cooper Todd finished with five points; Dylan Sullivan had three points; while Kaden Riley and Drew Wilks had two each.