Switzerland County's bench reacts after a close shot during Friday's game. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Switzerland County's bench reacts after a close shot during Friday's game. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
AURORA — Switzerland County didn’t get the win, but the Lady Pacers walked off the floor with their heads held high after falling 54-46 to unbeaten Lawrenceburg in the finals of the Rivertown Classic at South Dearborn on Friday.

Lawrenceburg entered the game with a perfect 17-0 record and were the clear favorites to win their fourth-straight Rivertown title.

As it turned out, the Tigers did just that, but not before Switzerland battled down to the wire and came within a possession or two of pulling off the upset.

“They’re not 18-0 by fluke. They’re the real deal. They’re well-coached, they’ve got a lot of nice pieces on their team and I’m really looking forward to what coach (Zane) White does with them,” Switzerland coach Mark Boggs said of Lawrenceburg. “Our kids fought, they fought and then they fought some more. We did go into a lull in the second quarter but credit goes to them for not giving up.”

Switzerland County (12-4) is off to its best start in four seasons but the Pacers hadn’t had a chance to challenge themselves against many top-flight teams. Even though unranked, Lawrenceburg provided that opportunity for the Swiss to test themselves.

Other than a long seven-minute scoring drought in the first half, the Pacers played right with the Tigers. Switzerland trailed 13-11 late in the first quarter before going ice cold and Lawrenceburg responded with an 11-0 run to build a 24-11 lead.

Lawrenceburg still led 31-18 entering the third quarter and scored the first five points of that frame to double up the Pacers 36-18, but Switzerland did not wilt and slowly began battling back.

Jaden Harrell started the Pacers’ rally with a basket and Jessie Duvall followed with a 3-pointer to negate the Tigers’ third-quarter start. Switzerland got three more 3-pointers in the quarter from Maddie Duvall, Aleiah Thomas and Josie Meyer to pull within 45-34 at the end of the frame.

Meyer opened the fourth with another trey and Kyah Chase hit a pair of free throws and just like that, it was a game. Switzerland came all the way back to within four (48-44) on a Jessie Duvall basket with 3:17 to go but could get no closer.

Lawrenceburg’s Juliana Kemper, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player, hit a pair of shots to stop Switzerland’s run. The Pacers managed only two Chase free throws over the final three minutes of the game as the Tigers held on for the win.

Despite the loss, Boggs was pleased with his team’s play. The Pacers had opened the season 10-1 before dropping two losses at the Rumble on the River Tournament at Southwestern last week, their first true adversity of the season.

“We had a couple of good meetings after the Rumble. That was our first true sense of adversity where we had some losses and we just talked about how if you do a few different things you can fight through adversity,” Boggs said. “And these kids showed their resilience tonight. They showed their toughness, they showed their passion and credit goes to them.”

Thomas scored 12 points to lead Switzerland County and up her career scoring total to 1,210. She passed Eve Galbreath for second place on the school’s career scoring list and now stands just five points shy of Brooke Todd’s Lady Pacers scoring record set five years ago.

Chase added 11 points while Meyer had nine for Switzerland. Thomas was named to the all-tournament team.

Tristyn Dennis scored 15 points and Kemper had 13 for Lawrenceburg. Dennis and Kierah Lowe were also named to the all-tournament team along with South Dearborn’s Kyrstin Bond and Rising Sun’s Kieran Groover.

Switzerland’s next game will be Thursday when the Pacers return to Southwestern for a rematch with the Rebels, who won their first meeting in the Rumble. This game will count in the Ohio River Valley Conference standings.

———

RIVERTOWN CLASSIC

at Aurora

Championship

LAWRENCEBURG 54, SWITZERLAND CO. 46



LAWERENCEBURG 18 13 14 9 — 54

SWITZERLAND CO. 11 7 16 12 — 46



LAWRENCEBURG (18-0) — Dennis 15, Kemper 13, Roark 8, Lowe 7, Radenheimer 5, Cross 4, Meyer 2.

SWITZERLAND CO. (12-4) — A. Thomas 12, Chase 11, Meyer 9, J. Duvall 7, M. Duvall 5, Harrell 2, Oeffinger 0.



3-Point Goals — Lawrenceburg 4 (Dennis 2, Kemper 1, Radenheimer 1), Switzerland Co. 7 (Meyer 3, M. Duvall 1, A. Thomas 1, J. Duvall 1, Chase 1). Turnovers — Lawrenceburg 15, Switzerland Co. 10. Total Fouls — Lawrenceburg 18, Switzerland Co. 12. Free Throws — Lawrenceburg 3-8, Switzerland Co. 11-17. Fouled Out — None.