The traditional start to the high school basketball season opened at the Hatchet House on Wednesday. The No.1 Class A Barr-Reeve Vikings used a double-digit rebounding advantage and the athleticism of senior Micah Bullock to post a 53-42 win over the Washington Hatchets in the well-attended border battle. In the win, Bullock ended the game with 20 points and a signature dunk, while WHS got 20 from sophomore Colton Garland.
The Hatchets and Vikings battled for much of the first half, separated by only a last second bucket, but B-R was able to find interior baskets and a dominant effort of the offensive glass in the third to pave the way for the 11-point win that lasted just over an hour.
“It was good to get back on the court,” said B-R coach Bryan Hughes. “This game is always special for me and a good way to start the year.”
The Hatchets matched B-R throughout much of the opening eight minutes. The Hatchets never trailed by more than three as Garland posted seven of Washington’s first nine points.
B-R got six of their first 10 from Bullock, but Logan Lengacher and Addison Wagler also picked up interior buckets, to push BR to the 10-9 lead after one.
The Hatchets dominated the early minutes of the second quarter. Baskets from Andy Garland, Tyler Stoll and Colton Garland pushed WHS to a 16-10 margin. However, Wagler, Chris Wittmer and Bullock added buckets to battle back to a 19-18 lead.
“I was really concerned with how we were going to guard them, because I knew they had kids who could shoot the ball and put it on the floor,” said B-R coach Bryan Hughes.
The biggest play of the half came in the final seconds, as B-R with a one-point lead, was able to steal the inbound pass and score, sending the Vikes into the half with the 26-23 lead.