By Dennis Glade
The Washington Times-Herald
The Barr-Reeve basketball team had Vincennes Rivet back on its heels in the first quarter, but over the final three quarters, the Patriots played a near perfect game.
Vincennes Rivet defeated Barr-Reeve 59-46 to win the Class A Sectional 63 championship Monday night at Jack Butcher Arena and clinch the Patriots’ second straight sectional crown and the sixth time in the past seven years.
The first half was marked with uneven play from both teams, as the Vikings and Cougars combined to commit seven turnovers apiece in the game’s first 16 minutes. The first quarter had four lead changes, but Barr-Reeve took control with a 9-4 run to end the opening quarter with a 16-11 lead. Barr-Reeve’s Olivia Carroll knocked down two 3-pointers. Tiara Kenney and Jenna Knepp had four points each in the quarter, while Kelsey Ivers had five points and Lauren Herman had four to lead Rivet.
“One of the keys to the game was to get off to a good start and we definitely accomplished that,” said Barr-Reeve coach Mark Holt.
The Patriots used a 7-0 run to open the quarter and take an 18-16 lead with 3:29 to play until halftime on two layups from Herman, two free throws from Ivers and another made free throw from Bailey Niehaus. Carroll’s two made free throws at the 3:08 mark were the first Barr-Reeve points of the quarter.
“I will give a lot of credit to Rivet’s defense,” Holt said. “They really stagnated us and lost some confidence. We just didn’t attack as well in that second quarter.”
The Vikings ran into foul trouble as Rivet outscored Barr-Reeve 12-4 in the second and Knepp picked up her second and third fouls and Carroll was called for two fouls as well. Rivet scored five of the final seven points to take a 23-30 lead going into the locker room at halftime. Herman and Carroll had 10 points each to lead all scorers.
“Early in the game, I thought nerves played a part,” said Vincennes Rivet coach Tim Young. “We missed a lot of bunnies and got the ball exactly where we wanted it inside and got quality shots, but we couldn’t finish. In the huddle at the end of the first and Bailey Dreiman and Lauren Herman looked them in the eyes and the shots started falling.”
Rivet scored the first five points of the quarter on a Herman layup and a Ivers trey to push the lead to 28-20 and force a Bar-Reeve timeout with 3:26 to play in the third quarter. Barr-Reeve was able to get some shots to fall, but the Vikings couldn’t get closer than six points and trailed 39-30 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, Rivet opened by scoring seven of the first points to push its lead to 46-33. Carroll converted a three-point play and Tracy Graber added a layup to cut the lead to 46-38.
After Carroll split a pair of free throws, the Vikings trailed by just seven with 5:38 to play. Any momentum Barr-Reeve may have had was zapped on the next Rivet possession. Senior guard Bailey Dreiman drove to the basket, missed a short jumper, got her rebound, missed a layup and on her third opportunity scored and was fouled. After Dreiman converted the free throw, the Patriots had a 49-39 lead with 5:02 to play and effectively end the Viking threat.
“They are a hard team to comeback against,” Holt said. “They have girls that pass the ball well, they cut well. I’m proud of my ladies for fighting, but Vincennes Rivet proved they were the better team tonight. I tip my cap to them and wish them well.”
Rivet outscored Barr-Reeve 10-7 over the final five minutes to finish off the 13-point victory. Carroll led all scorers with 17 points, followed by Knepp with 10, Kenny with nine, Hannah Bullock with four and Tracy Graber and Megan Graber with two points each. Herman led Rivet with 16 points, Ivers had 15, Dreiman had 12, Donovan had eight, Carly Waggoner added six and Bailey Niehaus had two points.
Holt and Barr-Reeve say goodbye to four seniors after Monday night’s loss as Jenna Knepp, Tracy Graber, Briona Miller and Kayla Lengacher played their last game for the Vikings.
“The four seniors had four different roles and they all accepted those roles,” Holt said. “Obviously, Jenna is the leader of the team and she does what she does on both ends of the court. Tracy Graber is the unsung hero in the post and I thought she had a very good tournament here. Kayla Lengacher and Briona Miller — it’s tough when you don’t get as many minutes as you would like, but they kept their heads up and worked really hard.”