ELNORA — Barr-Reeve had a target on its back all season and with the postseason starting, that target got even bigger Tuesday night.
The Class A No. 1 Vikings (21-1) survived an upset scare against North Daviess (11-11) to win 55-42 in the first round of Sectional 63 at the Cougar Den behind 14 points from Micah Bullock, 13 from Addison Wagler and 10 from Chris Wittmer.
From the opening moments of the second quarter, the Vikings didn’t trail, but midway through the third quarter, North Daviess was giving the top-ranked Vikings all they could handle. Senior Dusten Cook tied the game at 27 with a 3-pointer at the 5:55 mark and Alex Wittmer tied the game again at 32, 90 seconds later with a trey of his own. In the postseason opener, Barr-Reeve was being pushed in every facet of the game.
The Vikings predictably responded with a dominant stretch of play. Over the final 12-plus minutes, Barr-Reeve outscored North Daviess 23-10 and showed why it had been the wire to wire No. 1 ranked team in Class A.
The game was far different to start from the Buggy Bowl game on Jan. 25 in Montgomery that the Vikings controlled from the outset and led by more than 20, before winning 58-43.
“I figured it was not going to be a situation like in the regular season where we jumped out to a comfortable lead,” said Barr-Reeve coach Bryan Hughes. We were on their floor and those kids have a lot of pride.They gave us a great shot and give our kids a lot of credit for standing toe-to-toe and getting the job done in the second half. The only thing that matters is you get to play again and move on.”
Playing behind a raucous crowd, the Cougars got off to a quick 5-0 start and the Vikings didn’t score for the first 4:30 of the game. The Cougars missed out on two opportunities to make the lead larger, but Barr-Reeve found its rhythm thanks to five first quarter points from junior guard Chris Wittmer, but North Daviess led 10-9 after one quarter thanks to a 3-pointer a piece from Kelby Byrer and Dusten Cook. Brady Helms and Zach Moore also added a basket each for North Daviess.