MONTGOMERY — Through the first 12 games of the season, the Barr-Reeve boys basketball team has run into only one team it couldn’t handle, but win No. 12 might have been its most impressive win of the season.
The Class A No. 1 Vikings (12-1) defeated the rival North Daviess Cougars (6-6) 68-53 in the annual Buggy Bowl game at Kavanaugh Kourt behind 24 points from junior center Addison Wagler and a dominant defensive attack.
Playing without coach Bryan Hughes, who was taken to the hospital during the junior varsity game, Barr-Reeve jumped on the Cougars from the opening tip as they scored the game’s first 14 points and led 17-3 at the end of the first quarter. The Vikings came out with a high intensity defensive game plan, which was spurred on by a roaring home crowd. Junior guard Chris Wittmer scored five points and led the Vikings’ attack that held North Daviess to just 1-of-9 from the field.
“I thought our defensive effort and intensity really came out and our guys really came together and focused on the defensive end and contesting the shots,” said associate head coach Dean Scott. “Our defense forced them to miss some of those shots, because we had a hands in their faces.”
In the second quarter, Barr-Reeve continued to pad its lead by scoring the first six points to push the lead to 23-3, before a Zach Moore basket at the 4:50 mark cut the deficit to 18. The Vikings outscored the Cougars 12-7 in the quarter as Wagler scored seven of his 13 first half points and Barr-Reeve took a 29-10 lead into halftime.
“Even though we have a lot of seniors, it doesn’t necessarily mean we are a veteran ballclub,” said North Daviess coach Brent Dalrymple. “The only guy that had played in that game before was Kelby (Byrer). I think the atmosphere got to us. I think we were ready, but the atmosphere got to us and now we know what that type of game is like.”