Switzerland Co. pulls away late in win over Franklin Co.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:00 AM
Switzerland County used a 16-6 run to close the game to pull away for a 70-54 win over Franklin County in boys basketball Tuesday in Vevay.
SWISS ROLL: Switzerland County coach B.J. McAlister talks strategy with junior Austin Clark (above) during Tuesday’s game against Franklin County. Clint Swanson glides into the basket (below) for two points. Clark scored 26 points and Swanson had 16 as the Pacers pulled away for a 70-54 win. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
The Pacers, now 14-4 on the season, led virtually the entire way but needed the late burst to finally take control and seize the win.
"Their record doesn't show it but they're 5-11 with a schedule against Greensburg twice, Batesville twice and several other good teams," Switzerland coach B.J. McAlister said. "Joe (Neuman) does a good job with them. I think our size was just too much for them."
Neuman, a former standout player and assistant coach at Hanover College, had his charges ready to play and it showed. The Wildcats led 2-0 and later at 8-7 and trailed from the first-quarter break on.
But Switzerland couldn't put the game away. Despite an overwhelming size advantage, the Pacers saw double-digit leads dwindle away time and a time again. Every time Switzerland got some breathing room, Franklin County would crawl back into the game.
"When you get a lead you naturally start to relax a bit and I think our guys did that at times," McAlister said. "But I also think that we have a lot of depth, and a lot of mature depth. And that experience allowed us to finally take control."
Switzerland led 14-10 after the first quarter and went up by 10 (22-12) on the strength of an 8-2 run to start the second quarter. But the Pacers' lead dwindled to six (31-25) by the break thanks to two Dylan Cregar baskets for Franklin in the final minute.
It was a pattern that would repeat itself. The Pacers opened the third quarter with back-to-back baskets by Clint Swanson and Austin Clark but the Swiss traded points with Franklin County the rest of the frame.
A turnover in the closing seconds of the third led to a 3-pointer by the Wildcats' Skyler McCool at the buzzer to cut the Pacers' lead back to seven at 51-44.
Franklin County pulled to within five on two separate occasions early in the fourth but got no closer. Cregar's two free throws cut the Switzerland lead to 54-48 with 6:24 left but the Pacers' Chase Ritch answered with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to eight.
Ritch's trey kick-started the 16-6 run that put the game away. Clark, who led all scorers with 26 points, hit a pair of baskets during the stretch as did Clint Swanson to ice the win.
"We battled through some foul trouble and I thought Trevor Smith and Clint Swanson both did a great job of lifting them when we needed it," McAlister said. "Trevor's not the kind of guy that gets a lot of pub and he doesn't fill up the score sheet but he does a lot of big things for us with his defense and ball-handling. And Clint is so fast that there are times that I think there is no way he's going to get to a loose ball and then he ends up scoring."
Swanson finished with 16 points while Alex Curran and Bob Tressler added eight points each for the Pacers.
Crager led Franklin County with 15 points while Tyler Miller and Zach Sizemore scored 11 points each.
The game was originally scheduled to be played two weeks ago but was postponed due to weather. While McAlister wanted the game to be rescheduled on a weekend, he was talked into the Tuesday night game by Switzerland athletic director David Todd and his former college teammate Neuman.
"Joe said that his kids were sick of practicing and we might as well play a real game," McAlister said. "David brought up a good point. This will help simulate the sectional where you have to play on Tuesday and then Friday. Of course, we also want to play Saturday."
Switzerland has two games left in the regular season. On Friday, the Pacers host Jac-Cen-Del for what could be a crucial Ohio River Valley Conference game. A week from Friday the Swiss close the season at Madison.
"Jac-Cen-Del's a young team but they have been playing much better. They're the kind of team that you would have rather played earlier in the season," McAlister said. "But if we can take care of business and get a little help from South Ripley we still have a chance (in the ORVC). We'll just have to see."
TUESDAY'S BOYS GAME
SWITZERLAND CO. 70,
FRANKLIN CO. 54
FRANKLIN CO. 10 15 19 10 - 54
SWITZERLAND CO. 14 17 20 19 - 70
FRANKLIN CO. (5-12) - (f)Cregar 15, (g)Ty. Miller 11, (g)Sizemore 11, (g)McCool 6, (c)Ortman 5, Meier 3, Kunkel 2, Tr. Miller 1.
SWITZERLAND CO. (14-4) - (f)Clark 26, (g)Swanson 16, (f)Tressler 8, A. Curran 8, (g)Smith 5, (g)Ritch 3, White 2, B. Curran 2.
3-Point Goals - Franklin Co. 5 (Ty. Miller 3, McCool 2), Switzerland Co. 3 (Clark 2, Ritch 1). Total Fouls - Franklin Co. 15, Switzerland Co. 18. Free Throws - Franklin Co. 11-20 (55%), Switzerland Co. 9-17 (53%). Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Franklin Co. hosts Connersville Friday. Switzerland Co. hosts Jac-Cen-Del Friday.