“The only reason I came here was because it was a job that was posted as Athletic Director/Varsity basketball coach,” Hughes said. “I wanted to be an Athletic Director and also coach basketball. I did that for 19 years, I don’t do that anymore, but I’m still here. When I came here, I didn’t envision being here this long. A good friend of mine, who’s a very successful coach, years ago told me if you do consider leaving a place on your own, you need to be able to sit down with a piece of paper and write down all positives and negatives of why you’re leaving. If you can’t come up with enough reasons to leave then you probably need to stay put.”
This past basketball season was one of, if not, the most dominant in recent memory at Barr-Reeve. The Vikings won 26 of 28 games and outscored their opponents by an average score of 61-41. In winning the sectional, regional and semistate championships, Barr-Reeve won four of its six postseason games prior to the state championship game by 20 points or more. The Vikings closest game in that stretch was the 69-60 win over Northeast Dubois when sophomore guard Logan James scored 29 points.
Playing in its fourth state title game since 2002, Barr-Reeve couldn’t hold onto a 10-point fourth quarter lead and lost 70-66 in overtime to Marquette Catholic after junior Ryan Fazekas scored 34 points and hit a Class A game record seven 3-pointers on 11 attempts. Barr-Reeve began the year as the No. 1 team in Class A and stayed there until the final game of the year at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
“When I look back at that group, a word I used a lot was ‘magical,’” Hughes said. “I’d never had a group be put on the top of the mountain from the very beginning and be able to stay up on the top of the mountain until the final game. Every weekend our kids were dealing with the fact that you’re going into someone else’s gym and here comes the No. 1 team in the state. Just the excitement and the other team’s really rising to the occassion, from that standpoint it was very rewarding to see a group of kids handle that. We went through the entire year with very little adversity and no injuries. It was just hard to explain, the year we had is a year everybody wish they could have.”