LOOGOOTEE — The Barr-Reeve girls basketball team had one goal Tuesday night — take care of business.
The Vikings (17-3) defeated rival Loogootee (3-17) 71-35 behind a balanced offensive attack Tuesday night in the first round of the Class A Sectional 63 at Jack Butcher Arena.
The Vikings needed nearly two minutes to score its first points, but after Olivia Caroll netted two free throws, Barr-Reeve found its rhythm. Barr-Reeve didn’t allow a point in the game’s first eight minutes on its way to leading 16-0 after one quarter. Tracy Graber led the Vikings with six points, while Jenna Knepp added five of her own and Hannah Bullock hit a 3-pointer.
“We’re a team that likes to press and trap, so we thought in the first game of the sectional, lets try to come out and be solid with our man-to-man defense,” said Barr-Reeve coach Mark Holt. “I thought our girls played a great defensive quarter to hold them to zero points, but the longer the half went, the better we moved the ball on offense. We got people open, delivered the ball on time and our people knocked down shots.”
The second quarter was more of the same for the Lions, but Loogootee was finally able to get on the board with a 3-point play from Christina Ziegler to cut the Barr-Reeve lead to 19-3 with 6:50 to play in the first half. Barr-Reeve increased its lead to 41-9 at halftime with a 25-9 advantage in the second quarter, which gave them a plus-16 differential in each of the first two quarters. Graber led all scorers with 10 points at the half, followed by Carroll with eight and Tiara Kenney with six points.
“We were kind of standing around on offense and didn’t have a whole lot of movement — I don’t think Barr-Reeve did anything extraordinary — we were just tight at the beginning of the game,” said Loogootee coach Chad Wade.
The third quarter was much more even, as Barr-Reeve held just a 13-12 advantage to give the Vikings a 54-21 lead heading into the final quarter. Ziegler scored seven of the Lions’ 12 third quarter points as she hit two 3-pointers. Graber scored six more points in the third, to pace the Vikings scoring attack to give her a game-high 16 points through three quarters.
“Tracy (Graber) is a good scorer — if we get her the ball in the right places, she’s going to finish,” Holt said. “I thought she shot the ball with such confidence and she didn’t have any hesitation in her game tonight. When she got the ball in scoring position, she got rid of it, because she was going against (Christina) Ziegler down in there, who is a good athlete and shot blocker. Tracy caught the ball ready to score and I think that was the key.”
Graber led Barr-Reeve with 18 points, Carroll had 12, Kenney added 10, Bullock had nine, Knepp had eight, Peyton Lengacher had six, Melody Rohrer had four and Emily Schultheis and Megan Graber had two points each. Ziegler led the Lions with 18 points, Mya Hedrick had 13 and Emily Brookshire had four points.
Barr-Reeve will face North Daviess Friday night, following the other semifinal between Vincennes Rivet and Shoals. The Vikings defeated the Cougars in the Buggy Bowl 44-38 back in December and Barr-Reeve outlasted North Daviess, 52-50 in the first round last year at Kavanaugh Kourt in Montgomery.
“They’re a great defensive team, but they have some kids who can score,” Holt said. “Obviously Sabra Smith and Meghan Knepp are the two primary scorers, but I know Ron (Knepp) has preached all year that other people can step up. (Brooke) Moore and (Taylor) Mallett inside and the two point guards (Abby Cecil and Makayla Spears) they have been rotating. They have five people out there, who are threats. It’s going to be hard for us to guard them and hopefully we can make it tough for them to guard us.”