JUMPSTART: Switzerland County’s Clint Swanson (above, 22) leaps in the air as he and teammate Trevor Smith (11) double-team Southwestern’s Mackenzy Withered (11) during Saturday’s game in Vevay. Switzerland pulled away early and won the game 69-45. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
JUMPSTART: Switzerland County’s Clint Swanson (above, 22) leaps in the air as he and teammate Trevor Smith (11) double-team Southwestern’s Mackenzy Withered (11) during Saturday’s game in Vevay. Switzerland pulled away early and won the game 69-45. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Switzerland County's size, depth and experience was too much for Southwestern to overcome and the result was an easy 69-45 win for the host Pacers Saturday in Vevay.

Switzerland jumped out to a 25-9 lead after one quarter and led by as many as 32 (58-26) in the second half before Southwestern rallied in the fourth quarter to make the game closer.

It was a far different game for the Pacers than the season opener at Oldenburg on Tuesday when they struggled to put away the deliberate Twisters.

"I was really proud of the guys," Switzerland coach B.J. McAlister said. "We saw them come out with the smaller lineup and we thought that they would try to spread us out. Like Oldenburg, we thought they would want to settle on the perimeter and we talked inside, inside, inside. Whether that's a drive or a skip pass or a post-up, we're going inside and we did that."

Switzerland (2-0) hit its share of shots from the outside by connecting on seven 3-pointers but the bulk of the Pacers' damage came in the paint.

Junior Austin Clark, a 6-foot-6 forward, scored a game-high 19 points while 6-foot-5 senior center Alex Curran had 14 points including a two-handed dunk in transition.

But more than just scoring, the Pacers dominated the tempo of the game with their size, getting several put-back opportunities and keeping the Rebels away from the glass.

"I think we were intimidated. We looked intimidated and we played intimidated," Southwestern coach Andy Firth said. "(Switzerland's) physical presence out there caused us to make bad decisions out there as far as shot selection. We were very hurried and we shouldn't have been."

Southwestern (0-2) suffered a blow right out of the gate when leading scorer Gunnar Henry picked up his second foul just 46 seconds into the game. Without Henry on the floor, the Rebels struggled to put points on the board and keep up with the Swiss.

Southwestern got a 3-pointer from Mackenzy Withered and a layup from Nick Wyne to take a 5-3 lead less than two minutes into the game but it didn't last long.

Junior Chase Ritch came off the bench to jump-start the first of two 10-0 runs for Switzerland in the first quarter when he drilled a 3-pointer from the left side. Clark followed moments later with a trey of his own.

After baskets by Curran and Clark pushed the lead to 13-5, Withered broke the run with his second 3-pointer. After a Trevor Smith basket for the Pacers and a free throw by Southwestern's Zach Westerfield, Ritch started and ended another 10-0 run for Switzerland with 3-pointers.

Switzerland slowly pulled away from there, building a 41-22 lead by halftime. Henry returned to the lineup in the third quarter but it was too late for the Rebels, who quickly fell behind 48-22 after the Pacers opened the half on a 7-0 run.

"I probably should have put Gunnar back in earlier. That one is on me," Firth said.

After the Rebels fell behind 58-26 late in the third quarter they ended the period on a Withered basket and then opened the fourth with five-straight points.

Clark hit a pair of baskets for the Pacers to push the margin back to 62-33 but Henry caught fire with eight-straight points of his own - six coming on three-point plays - and four-straight points by Zach Brooks pulled Southwestern back to within 20 (65-45) with 1:32 left.

However, the Rebels didn't score again. Braden Burk and T.J. White closed the game with baskets for Switzerland for the final margin.

"I don't think we gave up the entire game," Firth said. "Our locker room was a pretty positive locker room. As a coaching staff we're going to stay as positive as we can with them. But the real work begins next week when we need to start figuring out how to compete."

Along with Clark and Curran, Ritch reached double figures with 13 points. Overall, Switzerland had eight different players score while committing only 12 turnovers. They were, however, whistled for 21 fouls.

"We have a nice ballclub and we have nice depth. We just have to get better defending without fouling," McAlister said. "And that goes for all of our guys. We had a couple of guys get caught with their hands in the cookie jar a little too much."

Withered's 14 points paced the Rebels with Wyne adding 12. Southwestern had only eight turnovers and 11 fouls.

Both teams return to action Friday at home when Switzerland faces Trinity Lutheran and Southwestern hosts Shawe in a girls-boys varsity doubleheader. The boys junior varsity game will preceed the varsity contests at 5 p.m.


Saturday's Pacers-Rebels Box

at Vevay



SOUTHWESTERN 9 13 6 17 - 45

SWITZERLAND CO. 25 16 17 11 - 69

SOUTHWESTERN (0-2) - (g)Withered 14, (f)Wyne 12, (f)Henry 8, Jones 4, Brooks 4, (g)Westerfield 3, (g)Perry 0, Howell 0, Hartman 0.

SWITZERLAND CO. (2-0) - (f)Clark 19, (c)A. Curran 14, Ritch 13, (f)Burk 8, White 6, (g)Smith 4, Phagan 3, Powell 2, (g)Swanson 0, Hunter 0, B. Curran 0.

3-Point Goals - Southwestern 5 (Withered 3, Wyne 2), Switzerland Co. 7 (Ritch 3, Burk 2, Clark 1, Phagan 1). Total Fouls - Southwestern 11, Switzerland Co. 21. Free Throws - Southwestern 10-14, Switzerland Co. 6-10. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Southwestern hosts Shawe Friday. Switzerland Co. hosts Trinity Lutheran Friday.