By Dennis Glade Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — The Barr-Reeve girls basketball team entered play Thursday night winners of eight in a row and looked to extend that streak to nine with a visit to the Bird Cage.
The Class A No. 3 Vikings (11-1) dominated the Cardinals (1-10) in a 73-19 victory Thursday night behind a balanced scoring attack that saw five Barr-Reeve players score at least nine points.
The Vikings forced nine Washington Catholic turnovers to take the Cardinals’ home crowd out of the game immediately. Barr-Reeve got into its transition offense right away and led 25-0 after one quarter. Hannah Bullock scored nine, while Tiara Kenney added seven points in the first eight minutes.
In the second quarter, Washington Catholic finally scored its first basket of the night courtesy of senior Elizabeth Perkins, but the Cardinals still trailed 27-2.
Mary Anne Wichman added a 3-pointer in the quarter, but the Vikings took a 46-5 lead into halftime. Barr-Reeve’s Olivia Carroll scored nine points in the quarter as she was repeatedly left open on the perimeter.
Carroll led all scorers with 13 points in the first half.
“We have been working on several things in practice — defensive rebounding, trying to limit our own turnovers, trying to get out in transition more,” Holt said.
“Before we took the floor in the first half we put some goals up on the board for the first quarter. We wanted to give up two or fewer offensive rebounds, we wanted to hold them to six or less points and try to get 14 or more points. We try to break the game into eight minute segments and try to do certain things in each quarter. I thought we did a pretty good job of meeting those goals that we set.”
In the second half, the Vikings got some of their younger reserves into the game for some varsity action. Instead of a mass substitution, coach Mark Holt said he chose to put two starters on the floor with the younger girls to get some chemistry going between all the players on the floor. In the second half, the Cardinals were outscored 27-14, but coach Michael Hopkins felt his team improved its play in the final 16 minutes of regulation.
“We had a little pow wow at halftime about being more aggressive with our dribble, because we were coming across half court and we were just letting Barr-Reeve put us in a shell,” Hopkins said.
“We just wanted to make them come out and guard us and see if we could do something with that. We tried to do a little three-out and I thought we had some success getting to the middle. We did a good job boxing out and that’s one of our key points since day one and we’re really improving on boxing out. That’s something we can take away from this game, that we are still learning to play with each other, and we did a better job of that in the second half.”
Wichman led the Cardinals with 10 points, while Perkins added nine points, eight rebounds and two assists.
Carroll scored three more points in the second half to give her a game-high 16 points, while Tiara Kenney scored 11, Tracy Graber and Jenna Knepp added 10 points apiece, Bullock and Kayla Lengacher scored nine points apiece. Peyton Lengacher scored six points on two 3-pointers and Meloday Rohrer had two points.
Holt said the Vikings haven’t hit their stride yet, but it’s nice to be 11-1 and they will face their toughest stretch of the regular season. Starting with a home game Jan. 16 against Northeast Dubois, Barr-Reeve will have five games in nine days where it will face Forest Park, Vincennes Rivet, Wood Memorial and Pike Central.
Despite the blowout victory, Holt said his team will be able to take plenty away from this game after looking at the game film as they prepare for the final four weeks of play before the postseason begins.
“Regardless of the score, you can still see if you were doing things the right way,” Holt said.