The Barr-Reeve Lady Vikings came out a little rusty, but it wasn't long until they found a rhythm.
Barr-Reeve defeated Washington Catholic 46 - 22 Friday evening at Kavanaugh Kourt to advance to the Class A Sectional 63 final tonight against Vincennes Rivet. Rivet defeated Shoals in the other semi-final 75-39.
Both teams had ice cold shooting to start the game, before Tracy Graber converted a corner jumper at the 5:14 mark. That was followed by baskets from Kayla Lengacher and Cori Cummings to give the Vikings an early 6-0 advantage.
Bailey Abel countered with a 3-pointer to put Washington Catholic on the board, but the Vikings answered with a 7-0 run to take a 13-3 lead after the first quarter. Washington Catholic had numerous point blank looks at the basket that seemed to go half way down and rim out for a Barr-Reeve rebound in the first few minutes.
"We got some good looks, I was pretty happy with the way the girls moved the ball,² said Washington Catholic coach Michael Hopkins. "That's the difference of shooting with confidence and shooting just to shoot. Our No. 1 priority in that situation is to try to get a good shot. We know we¹re not the greatest shooters around, but they're trying to build one way or the other. The first is to do what's necessary to get a good shot.² Barr-Reeve opened the second quarter with a 7-0 run, and outscored the Cardinals in total 14-4 in the quarter. A Briona Miller jumper in the final minute of the first half gave the Vikings a 20-point lead at halftime, 27-7.
Junior guard Jenna Knepp led the Vikings with 13 points.
In the third quarter, the Vikings laid off some of their pressure defense with the lead, but they continued to force Washington Catholic into more tough shots. The Vikings won the quarter 9-3 to take a 36-10 advantage into the final quarter.
In the final quarter, Washington Catholic outscored the Vikings 12-10 with eight points coming from junior Elizabeth Perkins. The Cardinals also got four points off the bench from freshman Kasey Ivy.
With the 7:30 p.m. start to the championship game tonight, Barr-Reeve coach Mark Holt said his team will get some extra time for rest and preparation to be ready for the biggest game of the season to date. Sophomore point guard Hannah Bullock sat out with a back injury, and Tiara Kenney didn¹t play much of the game with lingering injuries. Holt is hopeful that both girls will be ready to go.
"I'll let the girls sleep in a little bit in the morning, and we'll come in and watch some film on Rivet," Holt said. "We'll come in later in the afternoon and do a walk through, where we'll be able to get down to business about how we want to play against Rivet before we come back for our normal shoot around." Vincennes Rivet is a familiar foe for the Vikings, and for the second time this week they will try to avenge a regular season loss. Rivet defeated Barr-Reeve, 50-40, Jan. 15 in Montgomery. The Vikings defeated the Patriots, 53-49, in the Sectional 63 semi-finals last year en route to the sectional championship.
"They (Rivet) want to play high octane basketball, they want to make you play faster than you want to play," Holt said. "They want to spread you out on offense, and drive and kick. They are very well schooled, very well drilled, and they play great team defense. We have to be able to handle a full court pressure, and if there is nothing in transition, we need to be able to bring the ball back out and run a play."