LOOGOOTEE — The North Daviess girls basketball team did everything right for three quarters, but you have to play a full game if you want to beat Barr-Reeve — especially in the postseason.
Barr-Reeve (17-3) outscored North Daviess (16-5) 19-3 in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Class A Sectional 63 semifinal to earn a 51-45 victory and advance to Monday night's championship game against Vincennes Rivet at Jack Butcher Arena.
For the first three quarters, North Daviess played as well as it could have hoped entering the matchup against rival Barr-Reeve, but the final eight minutes was another story. Freshman point guard Abby Cecil hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the third quarter to give North Daviess the momentum and a 42-32 lead. In the third quarter, the Vikings used its vaunted full court press with varying degrees of success, but in the fourth, North Daviess couldn't break the press.
Cecil opened the fourth with two missed free throws at the 6:07 mark, and Barr-Reeve answered with six straight points on baskets from Tiara Kenney, Jenna Knepp and Tracy Graber. Olivia Carroll was called for a carrying violation with 4:15 left, but North Daviess couldn't find an answer. Sabra Smith missed two free throws and North Daviess coach Ron Knepp took a timeout with 3:16 to play with the Cougars still leading by four.
Carroll scored a layup after a diving steal from freshman Megan Graber and then Caroll split a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 42-41 with 2:41 to play. A Kenney layup with two minutes left gave Barr-Reeve its first lead since 7-2 midway through the first quarter. A Smith turnover, followed by one free throw from Kenney and a layup from Tracy Graber gave the Vikings a four-point lead, which felt like double digits.
"We executed exactly how we wanted for the first three and a half quarters, but our offense put too much pressure on our defense to make stops," Knepp said. "We were just exhaused in that last half of the quarter. Defensively, we were just exhausted and just couldn't make those stops."