CLAW & CRAWL: Southwestern’s Morgan Mahoney (above left) and Switzerland County’s Eve Galbreath claw and crawl after a loose ball Tuesday night in Vevay and Southwestern’s Debbie Hardy (below, center) battles with Switzerland’s Mercedes Parham (left) and Mackenzie Mathews. The Rebels outlasted the Pacers 45-38 in Southwestern’s regular season finale. (Staff photos by David Hill)
CLAW & CRAWL: Southwestern’s Morgan Mahoney (above left) and Switzerland County’s Eve Galbreath claw and crawl after a loose ball Tuesday night in Vevay and Southwestern’s Debbie Hardy (below, center) battles with Switzerland’s Mercedes Parham (left) and Mackenzie Mathews. The Rebels outlasted the Pacers 45-38 in Southwestern’s regular season finale. (Staff photos by David Hill)
Southwestern toughed out a physical 45-38 conference win at Switzerland County Tuesday in girls basketball.

The game was dominated by the host Pacers early but was taken over by the defensive-minded Rebels in the second half.

Late steals and transition layups by Southwestern late proved to be the big difference. Debbie Hardy had seven key points off the bench for the Rebels in the fourth quarter, as she led her team with 14 points.

"We won the game and looked well in spots," Southwestern coach Kenny Garrett said. "I thought we made some costly turnovers when we shouldn't have and tried spreading it out late but didn't take advantage."

Southwestern shrugged off the slow start to force Switzerland into 31 turnovers.

"I think we were nervous there in the first half," Garrett said. "Switzerland is a good team. They're scrappy and aggressive and (Eve) Galbreath can rebound and score with the best of them."

Galbreath scored the first six points for the Pacers as they took a 6-1 lead out of the gate. Southwestern turned on the defense with an effective press to quickly answer that run and and a basket by Cheyenne McKinley gave the visitors an 8-6 lead with 2:28 left in the opening period.

Southwestern (7-14, 4-2 Ohio River Valley) took a 10-6 lead when Morgan Mahoney scored off a steal but the remainder of the quarter belonged to the Pacers.

Freshman Kelsi Konkle knocked down a 3-pointer and Makenzie Mathews and Hailee Lay hit shots from the corner to give the Swiss a 13-10 lead at the break.

Both teams managed just seven points in the second quarter. Switzerland County was hampered by costly misses at the free-throw line en route to a cool 5-for-11 on the night but the Pacers still led 20-17 at halftime.

Switzerland got off to a good start in the second half when Bre Ricketts ripped off a pair of baskets to force Southwestern into a timeout trailing 25-17.

After that the Rebels' defense really tightened up and the more aggressive defense resulted in more offense for the visitors. Southwestern got baskets by Hubbard and Mahoney and outscored Switzerland 12-2 after the timeout to carry a 29-27 lead into the final quarter and the Pacers never got any closer.

"We had some steals and transition layups late that got us the win," Garrett said.

Although the Pacers were within four points twice later in the fourth quarte, the Rebels' defense and scoring plays by Hardy held the Swiss at bay.

The Pacers trailed by five (39-34) with 2:37 remaining on a basket by Galbreath but Hardy matched that on the other end and the Rebels finished out the win at the free-throw line.

"I think the turning point in the game was the end of the third quarter," Switzerland coach Ashley Chase said. "Something happened and we just fell apart. We were missing shots and got upset with ourselves and our focus was off."

Chase said her team, while it had its chances, had a hard time with Southwestern's press.

"That's been our thing all season. We haven't had the confidence to put a full game together," she said.

Switzerland closes the regular season Friday at home against Shawe Memorial - one-half of girls-boys varsity double header with the Hilltoppers. The Pacers then face North Decatur in the opening round of sectional play at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at South Ripley High School.

Chase likes the Pacers' draw.

"We played and lost to them early in the season but we were minus one starter," she said. "But we're going to have to play better than we did tonight to win."

Southwestern will face host South Ripley in Tuesday's second game at about 7:30 p.m. The Rebels 49-39 to the Raiders on Dec. 17.

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TUESDAY'S GIRLS GAME

at Vevay

SOUTHWESTERN 45, SWITZERLAND 38



SOUTHWESTERN 10 7 12 16 - 45

SWITZERLAND CO. 13 7 7 11 - 38



SOUTHWESTERN (7-14, 4-2 ORVC) - Hardy 14, (f)Hubbard 11, (c)Mahoney 9, (f)McKinley 8, Courtney 2, (g)Lawson 1, (g)Brawner 0.

SWITZERLAND CO. (8-12, 2-3 ORVC) - (f)Galbreath 10, (g)Todd 6, (f)Konkle 6, Mathews 6, (f)Ricketts 4, (g)Parham 3, Lay 3, Coy 0.



3-Point Goals - Southwestern 4 (Hubbard 2, Hardy 2), Switzerland Co. 3 (Konkle 2, Parham 1). Total Fouls - Southwestern 12, Switzerland Co. 12. Free Throws - Southwestern 9-16, Switzerland Co. 5-11. Fouled Out - None. Technical Fouls - Southwestern: Courtney. Next Game - Southwestern faces South Ripley in the Class 2A Sectional at South Ripley Tuesday. Switzerland Co. hosts Shawe Friday.