SEYMOUR — For the first time in four years, Barr-Reeve is heading back to the state championship game in Indianapolis.
The Vikings (26-1) defeated Clay City (20-7) 75-55 in Saturday's Class A Semistate Saturday afternoon at the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium behind a balanced offensive attack led by Addison Wagler's 24 points.
Barr-Reeve entered the season as the No. 1 team in Class A and all season the Vikings had a target on their backs, but stigma never seemed to bother them. The Vikings have won 17 straight games and have an average margin of victory of 22 points per game in six tournament games, which is a higher margin than they averaged during the 21-game regular season.
"They've handled the pressure all year," said Barr-Reeve coach Bryan Hughes. "Probably better than their coach has."
The Vikings shot out of a cannon to start the game by showing zero nerves in the first semistate game for all five starters on the floor. Senior guard Micah Bullock and Wagler led all scorers with seven points each in the first quarter as Barr-Reeve ran out to a 22-4 lead through the game's first eight minutes after scoring the first eight points. Wagler made 3-of-5 from the field and 1-of-2 from the foul line and he was able to find his teammates for open looks as the Eels defense collapsed around him. All five Barr-Reeve starters scored in the first quarter.
"We thought we had an advantage in the post and we wanted to get the ball in there and hopefully get them in foul trouble, which we did," Hughes said.
In the second quarter, the Vikings offense sputtered, but they still held a 31-11 lead with 1:21 to play before halftime. Clay City was able to end the quarter on an 8-0 run thanks to back-to-back turnovers from Bullock and one 3-point play each from Evan Rogers and Easton Booe to make it a 31-19 game at halftime.