It wasn't pretty for Class A No. 3 Barr-Reeve, but after 32 minutes the Vikings had their sixth consecutive victory.
The Vikings (18-1, 7-1 Blue Chip) defeated Vincennes Rivet (3-17, 2-5) 65-32 Friday evening at Ralph Holscher Gymnasium behind 20 points from Micah Bullock and 17 points from Addison Wagler.
The Vikings jumped out quickly by scoring the game's first three baskets to take a 6-0 lead, but the Patriots countered with two of their own to cut the lead to 6-4. Barr-Reeve responded by scoring nine straight points to push its advantage to 13-4, before Zach Templin converted his second field goal of the quarter to cut the lead to 13-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Barr-Reeve continued to tack onto its lead with seven consecutive points to start the second quarter, five from junior Micah Bullock. Rivet could only manage four points in the second quarter, and Barr-Reeve found a rhythm through a balanced scoring attack to take a 32-10 lead into halftime.
Despite dominating the scoreboard for the entire game, Barr-Reeve coach Bryan Hughes wasn't pleased with the total effort from his team.
"I guess we need to be fortunate enough when you can win by 30-plus, and really play as bad as we played," Hughes said. "I didn't like a lot of our individual efforts, and I didn't like our team effort. When you can maybe call a foul on every pass, it was a hard game to get going in. Give our guys credit, we went on the road, and got a win." Both teams combined for 17 team fouls in the first half Bullock led the Vikings with 12 points, Logan James had nine points and Brandon Wagler scored six points in the first half.
In the third quarter, Rivet was able to finally get some offensive rhythm going, but they still couldn't put a dent into the Barr-Reeve advantage. The Vikings won the third quarter 13-12, as Addison Wagler scored eight of the Vikings 13 points.
Barr-Reeve had its highest point total of the night in the final quarter when they registered 20 points, twice the amount Rivet was able to muster.
The Vikings got points from eight different players. After 17 combined fouls in the first half, the two teams combined for 24 in the second half.
One bright spot for Hughes Friday was the news that Barr-Reeve's next opponent White River (10-9) Valley upset North Daviess (14-6), 39-34. Hughes said he hopes that the Vikings will come out focused on the road Tuesday night.
"To be honest I'm glad," Hughes said. "That way, if guys don't understand it shouldn't be too hard to get focused to play when something like that happens. As far as our next opponent winning a big game, that's good. We just had too many guys not getting a lot done out on the floor. We have to get more from Jacob Bledsoe (two points, five fouls). He's been good for us all year, but tonight he struggled on both ends. We just got to get more out of him. It was hard to get a flow going; never did we feel like the game was in jeopardy. It's disappointing at times when you sit over there, you try to get something going." The Vikings have two more games on the road, before the state tournament starts Feb. 26.
The state tournament draw is tomorrow afternoon, but between now and then Hughes would like to see his team get a rhythm the last two games.
"We want to continue playing like we have played most of the year," Hughes said. "Even though we can walk away here with a pretty good margin of victory, we didn't play very well. We didn't execute very well. Really the first time all year we've played extended minutes against a zone. At times I didn't like how we attacked the zone, we were too passive. We¹ll learn from it."