VINCENNES — In a battle of two of the best girls basketball programs, in Southwestern Indiana, Vincennes Rivet prevailed on a night when Barr-Reeve just couldn’t get over the hump.
Class A No. 3 Vincennes Rivet defeated No. 6 Barr-Reeve 50-43 Monday night behind 17 points from senior Lauren Herman and 14 from Bailey Dreiman to hand the Vikings their second straight loss after Thursday’s 48-29 defeat at the hands of North Knox.
Barr-Reeve seemed to be fighting up an uphill battle all night and after four straight points from Herman and Dreiman, the Patriots had a 43-32 lead and the Vikings looked like it might be done. The Vikings responded with an 8-0 that featured three free throws from Olivia Carroll, a 3-pointer from Jenna Knepp, who led the Vikings with 14 points and a a layup from Tiara Kenney to cut the lead to 43-39 with 5:10 to play.
After Knepp missed the front end of a one-and-one, Bailey Niehaus split two free throws and Carroll made a pair from the foul line to cut the Rivet lead to three. Dreiman and Carroll traded baskets to keep the deficit at three, but that’s as close as the Vikings could get. Makala Emmons knocked down two free throws and Herman made a layup to finish off Barr-Reeve.
“They made some big plays and we hung around,” said Barr-Reeve coach Mark Holt. “You just can’t get buried in one of those big Rivet runs. We always stayed in contact, I’m not disappointed in this game.”
The game opened to a sloppy first quarter as the teams combined to commit 12 turnovers. The Vikings and Patriots had four lead changes, but Rivet led 14-10 at the end of the quarter behind eight points from Kelsey Ivers and two 3-pointers. Barr-Reeve had two points apiece from Knepp, Hannah Bullock, Tracy Graber, Tiara Kenney and Carroll.
In the second quarter, Rivet got five points from Bailey Herman and two from her sister, Meg, to open up a 23-14 lead with 3:15 to play before halftime. Knepp’s second 3-pointer of the quarter cut the lead to six, but Carly Waggoner’s two free throws pushed the lead to eight with 2:21 to play in the second. Barr-Reeve coach Mark Holt took a timeout at the 2:11 mark and the Vikings began their comeback.
Out of the timeout, the Vikings were the more aggressive team for the first time all night. Graber and Knepp scored baskets and Carroll knocked down a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the quarter to cut the lead to 25-24 at halftime. Knepp led all scorers at halftime with 11 points and Lauren Herman had nine to lead the Patriots.
“This is something that’s kind of a Barr-Reeve trait,” Holt said. “A Barr-Reeve team believes it is not over until the final horn sounds and that was never more evident than tonight. It may be cliche, but it’s true. They believed we had a chance to come back in the game.”
Knepp led the Vikings with 14 points, Carroll had 11, freshman Megan Graber had six off the bench and Kenney and Graber had four points each.
Out of halftime the teams traded baskets, but the Vikings were unable to pull ahead as Graber and Kenney were unable to convert layup attempts. Meanwhile, the Patriots took advantage. Lauren Herman and Katie Dononvan converted field goal attempts and Bailey Dreiman hit a corner trey to push the lead to 34-26 with 2:30 to play in the quarter. Back-to-back Graber layups cut the lead to four, but another Herman jumper and a 3-pointer from Dreiman before the third quarter buzzer gave Rivet a 39-31 lead heading to the fourth. The Patriots defense was especially stingy as they allowed just seven Barr-Reeve points in the third quarter and limited Knepp to just one shot attempt.
The Vikings finish up the regular season tonight against Springs Valley at home as they prepare for the sectional where they will matchup with Loogootee Feb. 11 at Jack Butcher Arena. Holt said his team needs to focus on the task at hand and not worry about seeing Rivet in a possible sectional championship game.
“We’re a long, long way from a rematch,” Holt said. “That Loogootee team will have us in the first game on their home floor and if we’re lucky enough to get past them, there is a very good North Daviess team. We have to put Rivet away and take it one game at a time.”