11/14/2013 3:00:00 PM Lady Pacers fall in opener to Rebels in foul-plagued game
That was the magic number - or tragic number - for the Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity basketball team as they opened their season on Tuesday night.
The Southwestern Lady Rebels won the game by a score of 52-45, but the real key of the contest came on the strength of 52 total personal fouls called by the referees.
Each team was whistled with 26 personal fouls each, a total of 52 fouls in a game that was just 32 minutes long. That averages to about three fouls called for every two minutes of play.
Switzerland County shot 29 freethrows. Southwestern shot 31.
The game, which was the opener for both teams, showed the signs of being the first contest of the season, as both squads committed key turnovers at critical times, and neither could get into any type of offensive flow.
The Lady Pacers showed balance as the game started, with seven different players accounting for the team's first 13 points. Kelsi Konkle opened the year with a bucket, and that was followed by a basket by Makenzie Mathews and a steal and a layup by Brooke Todd.
Just three minutes into the season, Switzerland County had a 6-0 lead.
Southwestern responded with a run of nine straight points, getting four from Debbie Hardy, three from Samantha Ison; and a basket by Austin Courtney; but Switzerland County responded with a basket by Erika Coy and a freethrow from Hailee Lay to knot the game at 9-9.
A pair of freethrows by Debbie Hardy pushed the Lady Rebels in front at the first break by a score of 11-9.
Southwestern went on a run of 7-4 to open the quarter, getting three-pointers from Debbie Hardy and Allison Bushong; while Switzerland County got a basket from Bre Ricketts and an inside bucket from Eve Galbreath.
After Southwestern got a freethrow; Bre Ricketts converted a freethrow; and Austin Courtney followed with a basket to extend the lead to seven. Hailee Lay made a pair of freethrows as the quarter ended, and Switzerland County found itself down at the half, 21-16.
The Lady Pacers could never seem to get an extended offensive run going in the game, thanks in part to the constant stoppage of play for fouls and freethrows, but Eve Galbreath had a pair of freethrows in the third quarter and Mercedes Parham connected on a three-pointer that kept Switzerland County within striking distance.
With the Southwestern lead at nine, Switzerland County got freethrows from Bre Ricketts and Kelsi Konkle and a basket from Erika Coy to again narrow the deficit to seven, 32-25, with a quarter to go.
The fourth period was a parade of Lady Pacers and Lady Rebels going to the line, as the officials refused to simply let play continue. The foul-fest cost Switzerland County starters Eve Galbreath and Brooke Todd; and neither team could mount an offense because of the close foul calling, with the Lady Pacers not getting a field goal through the first four minutes of the final stanza, when Makenzie Mathews hit a jumper.
As the game wound down, Southwestern was able to maintain it's advantage, and came away with a 52-45 victory.
Hailee Lay had an outstanding game off of the bench to lead the Lady Pacers with 10 points; while Kelsi Konkle and Makenzie Mathews each finished with seven. Bre Ricketts added six points; while Brooke Todd, Eve Galbreath, and Erika Coy each had four; and Mercedes Parham finished with three.
Debbie Hardy led Southwestern with 22 points; and Allison Bushong was in double figures with 13.
Switzerland County now readies from some big road tests, starting tomorrow (Friday) night at Madison; and then on to South Dearborn on Saturday night to take on the Lady Knights. The road trip concludes next Friday night, November 22nd, when the team travels to Rising Sun. The next home game is Tuesday, December 3rd, versus Milan.
In the junior varsity game, Switzerland County earned a 17-13 victory.
Taylar Jordan led the Lady Pacers with six points; while Courtney Pedraza had five; Whitley Schirmer had four; and Baylie Scudder chipped in two.