Southwestern’s Austin Courtney drives to the basket (below) around Switzerland County defender Brooke Todd during the season opener for both teams on Tuesday in Vevay. Switzerland coach Ashley Kitts urges her team on (above). Southwestern won the game 52-45. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Southwestern’s Austin Courtney drives to the basket (below) around Switzerland County defender Brooke Todd during the season opener for both teams on Tuesday in Vevay. Switzerland coach Ashley Kitts urges her team on (above). Southwestern won the game 52-45. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
It was not a game either coach was proud of, but in the end, it was a win for Southwestern and a loss for Switzerland County.

Southwestern held on for a 52-45 win in the season opener for both teams Tuesday in Vevay. But in a game that featured 52 fouls, 60 free throws and 55 turnovers, it was far from a thing of beauty.

"We were going to play tonight whether we were ready or not," Southwestern coach Kenny Garrett said with a smile. "We needed three or four more days of practice, maybe even 10. But they played hard and that's the only thing I asked them to do."

Switzerland County scored the first six points of the game, Southwestern answered with seven-straight and the Lady Rebels never trailed again. But along the way, both teams took turns throwing the ball around the floor and collecting fouls.

It was the fouls more than anything that were the difference in the game. Switzerland County was whistled for eight fouls in the first quarter alone with junior center Eve Galbreath picking up two in the first five minutes.

Saddled with foul trouble, Galbreath ended up playing only 13 minutes total before fouling out with five minutes to play. She finished with just four points and five rebounds in the non-conference matchup.

"(The officials) were calling a lot of fouls but it was the same both ways," Switzerland coach Ashley Kitts said. "Not having Eve in there hurt in a lot of ways. If she's in the middle, that opens up our outside game. Without her, we didn't have that."

With Galbreath off the floor, Southwestern's Debbie Hardy was allowed to operate nearly at will. The junior had 22 points on just 10 shots and added 10 rebounds. She was also 3-of-6 from 3-point range as she took advantage of mismatches on the outside.

"Even two of Hardy's 3-pointers were Eve's fault," Kitts said. "She didn't close out on her. Hardy's a real nice player. You can't leave her like that."

Because of the fouls and turnovers the game had little flow. Southwestern led 11-9 after the first quarter and 21-16 at halftime before pushing its lead to double-digits in the second half.

Switzerland County made several mini-runs in the second half but never seriously threatened. The closest the Pacers got was five points with just over three minutes to play. Southwestern responded with nine-straight points to go ahead by 14 (50-36) for its largest lead of the game.

For Garrett, one of the biggest keys to the game was his team's defensive play. Along with forcing 25 turnovers, the Rebels also held Switzerland to just 26.7 percent shooting (12-of-45), including 6-of-26 in the second half.

"Our defensive pressure was really good. I think it really frustrated them," Garrett said. "When you see players take one dribble and pick it up, they're really second-guessing themselves. There was a lot of that tonight."

Kitts agreed with Garrett's assessment and added that the Pacers needed to get better against pressure defenses.

"There were four coaches here tonight scouting us and they're all going to come away with the same thought, 'we've got to press them,'" Kitts said. "We're going to see a lot of that and that's something that we need to deal with.

"When the officials are calling light fouls like they were tonight, that's when you need to attack offensively," Kitts added. "We need to recognize that and be more aggressive and we didn't do that."

While Hardy had a big game, the Rebels also got a huge contribution from junior Allison Bushong. The first-year varsity player scored 12 points on just 3-of-4 shooting and knocked down a 3-pointer. She also had three rebounds.

"Allison Bushong gave us a great game. She came in and played really well," Garrett said. "And Sam (Ison) also played really well I think.

"We had too many turnovers and that's something we need to clear up. And we will."

With foul trouble by both Galbreath and sophomore point guard Brooke Todd, Switzerland had trouble finding any scoring. Junior Hailee Lay was the only Pacer in double figures with 10, but was on 1-of-10 shooting from the floor.

"There was some bright spots tonight. It wasn't all bad," Kitts said. "We saw some things that we need to work on this week to get ready for Madison."

Switzerland County travels to Madison on Friday, a team that hammered the Pacers 37-2 in a game a year ago that was suspended at halftime due to a damp floor in Vevay. Southwestern heads to Eastern (Pekin) on Saturday.


Tuesday's Girls Game

at Vevay



SOUTHWESTERN 11 10 11 20 - 52

SWITZERLAND CO. 9 7 9 20 - 45

SOUTHWESTERN (1-0) - (f)Hardy 22, Bushong 12, (c)Ison 9, (f)Courtney 8, (g)Bruther 1, (g)Lawson 0, Reuda 0, Moore 0, Brierly 0.

SWITZERLAND CO. (0-1) - Lay 10, (f)Konkle 9, (f)Ricketts 6, (g)Matthews 5, (g)Todd 4, Coy 4, (c)Galbreath 4, Parham 3.

3-Point Goals - Southwestern 4 (Hardy 3, Bushong 1), Switzerland Co. 2 (Parham 1, Lay 1). Rebounds - Southwestern 34 (Hardy 10), Switzerland Co. 36 (Konkle 7, Matthews 7). Assists - Southwestern 8 (Lawson 3, Hardy 3), Switzerland Co. 8 (Matthews 3). Turnovers - Southwestern 30, Switzerland Co. 25. Total Fouls - Southwestern 26, Switzerland Co. 26. Free Throws - Southwestern 22-31, Switzerland Co. 19-29. Fouled Out - Switzerland Co.: Galbreath, Todd. Technical Foul - Southwestern: Bench. Next Game - Southwestern visits Eastern (Pekin) Saturday. Switzerland Co. visits Madison Friday.