Second half comeback falls short as Pacers lose first of season

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Coach Brian Bowen’s Switzerland County Pacers entertained Class 4A Jennings County last Saturday evening, and after falling behind by as many as 16 points in the first half, a furious Pacer rally fell just short as the team lost its first contest of the season by a final score of 52-48.

The Pacers stayed with the big-school Panthers early in the contest, riding the hot shooting of junior Kyle Green, who had nine of the team’s 13 first quarter points. Jennings County countered with some outstanding long range shooting, led by three-pointers from Brock Hurtle and John Paul Hyden.

Also effective in the opening quarter was Panther center Zach Fields, who at 6’10” and 270 pounds towered above the Pacer defenders. He added six points in the opening stanza, and at the end of the first quarter, Jennings County held a 21-13 lead.

Jennings County then went on a 9-1 run to open the second quarter, pushing out to a 30-14 advantage before a basket by Clay Meyer and two freethrows from Daniel Welch stemmed the tide.

Two more freethrows by Daniel Welch and another basket by Kyle Green drew Switzerland County back to a 33-22 deficit as the first half came to an end.

The third quarter saw back and forth play on both ends, as Switzerland County got solid inside play from sophomore Brennan Bragg (six points) in the period; as well as buckets from Devon Armstrong, Mark Sharp, and Brandon Otter.

Jennings County kept up the pressure, however, as the Panthers countered many of those points, and with just one period to play, Jennings County still held a 10-point advantage, 44-34.

Switzerland County had excellent defense on Zach Fields in the quarter, as the Jennings County big man managed only two points over the eight minute span – and some solid Pacer defense and aggressive offense also sent him to the bench with foul trouble.

The Switzerland County offense got into gear as the final quarter got underway, as Brandon Otter nailed a three-pointer and Kyle Green had two freethrows and a basket to bring the Pacers to within three points with five minutes to play.

Zach Fields made two freethrows and Kane Barker made a jumper to push the Jennings County lead back to seven; but Kyle Green connected on a long three-pointer to keep the Pacers in the game.

After John Paul Hyden made a leaner in the lane to make the score 50-44 in favor of the Panthers; Switzerland County went on another run, getting two freethrows from Brennan Bragg and a basket by Mark Sharp to edge to within two points with less than a minute to play.

Two freethrows by Jennings County’s Brock Hurtle sealed the defeat, however, and Switzerland County fell for the first time in the young season by a margin of four points.

Kyle Green led all scorers in the game, finishing with 18 points; and Brennan Bragg was also in double figures, adding 12.

Brandon Otter and Daniel Welch each finished with five points; Mark Sharp had four; and Devon Armstrong and Clay Meyer each chipped in two.

Zach Fields led Jennings County with 16 points.

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Switzerland County’s junior varsity team battled to the wire in their contest before falling by a score of 26-22.

Travis Tackett had an outstanding game, leading the team with eight points; and Justin Reagan finished with five. Alec McAlpine added four points; Josh Hon had three; and Tray Meyer finished with two.