"We got rattled a little bit and had some uncharacteristic ball handling mistakes, but for the most part they got their composure back and took care of the job."
Any momentum Clay City may have had coming out of halftime was squashed by Wagler's dominance on the block. Barr-Reeve outscored Clay City 20-13 in the third quarter to take complete control of the game. Wagler had eight of the Vikings' 20 points in the quarter and went 4-for-5 from the foul line to give Barr-Reeve a 51-32 lead.
"He (Wagler) picked it up and that's what we needed," Hughes said.
The Eels, however, didn't quit. Rogers and Noah Denker combined for 16 points and four 3-pointers to help Clay City cut the Viking lead to 62-49 with five minutes to play in regulation. Barr-Reeve answered with two free throws from Chris Wittmer, a three-point play from Wagler and one free throw from Logan James to extend the lead to 68-49 with 3:20 to play. Wagler led all scorers with 24 points and the junior forward made 10-of-12 shots from the foul line. Bullock had 16 points, Duncan Roy had 14, Wittmer added 10, James had nine and Jon McMullen finished with two points.
In its fourth trip to the state championship in Indianapolis, Barr-Reeve will try to earn the school's first boys basketball state championship against Marquette Catholic Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
"It feels great," Hughes said. "This is the ultimate for a coach and I'm just really tickled for these kids. This is a great group to take back up to Indianapolis."