ATTACKING THE BASKET: Switzerland County’s Ben Curran glides to the basket ahead of the South Central defense during Friday’s game at home. The Pacers rolled to the 73-41 win, their sixth in seven games this season. This and other photos can be viewed at www.madisoncourier.com/photos. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
ATTACKING THE BASKET: Switzerland County’s Ben Curran glides to the basket ahead of the South Central defense during Friday’s game at home. The Pacers rolled to the 73-41 win, their sixth in seven games this season. This and other photos can be viewed at www.madisoncourier.com/photos. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Switzerland County started off Friday's game with a bang and never slowed down in rolling to a 73-41 win over South Central (Elizabeth) at home.

The Pacers' first basket of the game was an alley-oop dunk to senior T.J. White 16 seconds into the contest. Chase Ritch added three 3-pointers in the first quarter and Switzerland was off to the races.

By the time the game was over the Pacers were on cruise control and salting away their first win of 2014.

"We came out with a lot of energy," Switzerland coach B.J. McAlister said. "The main thing about tonight was when you haven't played in a while you want to come out with a lot of intensity on the defensive side and on the offensive side, you want to stay away from sloppy play. And I thought we did that."

Switzerland (6-1) hadn't played since suffering its first loss of the season two weeks ago at Christian Academy and made sure it wouldn't suffer the same fate on Friday against the Rebels.

The Pacers set the tone with the alley-oop, a play that energized the team and kick-started a 7-0 run to open the game. White in particular seemed to feed off the play and ended up scoring a career-high 17 points.

"We've practiced that play five times and each time it ended with a turnover. I figured we would give it one more shot," McAlister said with a smile. "The pass was a little low but T.J. went up and got it. He's struggled a bit offensively here lately and it was nice to see him get going."

Switzerland led 20-9 after the first quarter thanks to 12 points by Ritch and 35-17 at the break. The Pacers' big quarter was the third when Austin Clark scored 11 of his game-high 22 points to lead the Swiss to a 58-28 cushion. At one point, Clark went on a 9-0 run on his own to knock out the Rebels.

The one aspect of the game that McAlister was particularly pleased with was the fact that Switzerland kept playing strong, even with the big lead and with a heavy substitution pattern in the fourth quarter.

"We won all four quarters and that was one of our goals," McAlister said. "We wanted to play each quarter like it was 0-0 and we did that."

In addition to his 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting, Clark also had nine rebounds and seven assists for an impressive all-around game. Ritch finished with 15 points on 4-of-5 shooting from behind the arc.

The Pacers also had 19 assists on 30 made baskets, a stat that McAlister was quick to point out.

"We shared the ball very well and was very unselfish," McAlister said. "Clark had seven assists, Braden (Burk) had five assists and (Ben) Curran and Ritch both had three. I thought Braden played very well on the defensive end as well. He's a wing but he's so long that he really disrupts things inside."

South Central (1-9), which is led by former Madison coach Ryan Crick, did not have a player reach double figures in scoring. Nate Shaffer and Zack Goodwin had seven points each to lead the Rebels.

Switzerland County's next contests will be in the annual Rivertown Classic at South Dearborn starting next week. The Pacers open with South Dearborn on Thursday with Rising Sun and Lawrenceburg playing in the other game. The consolation game will be Friday and the championship is on Saturday.

"The nice thing about our schedule is that we have this tournament then right after that we have all of our conference games stretched out in front of us," McAlister said. "It gives us a chance to use Christmas to add some things or to dump some things and really get ready for the rest of the season. We're looking forward to it."

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Friday's Boys Game

at Vevay

SWITZERLAND CO. 73,

SOUTH CENTRAL 41



SOUTH CENTRAL 9 8 11 13 - 41

SWITZERLAND CO. 20 15 23 15 - 73



SOUTH CENTRAL (1-9) - (g)Shaffer 7, Goodwin 7, (g)Goforth 6, Shewmaker 6, (f)Cunningham 5, (g)Sullivan 4, Wemes 4, Vieth 2, (f)Knear 0, Day 0.

SWITZERLAND CO. (6-1) - (f)Clark 22, (f)White 17, (g)Ritch 15, Gabbard 6, H. Hayes 6, Phagan 3, (g)Curran 2, K. Hayes 2, (g)Burk 0, Whitaker 0.



3-Point Goals - South Central 5 (Goforth 2, Shaffer 1, Cunningham 1, Goodwin 1), Switzerland Co. 8 (Ritch 4, Gabbard 2, Clark 1, Phagan 1). Turnovers - South Central 11, Switzerland Co. 16. Total Fouls - South Central 7, Switzerland Co. 7. Free Throws - South Central 6-8, Switzerland Co. 5-6. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - South Central visitsTrinity Lutheran tonight. Switzerland Co. plays South Dearborn in the Rivertown Classic on Thursday.