Barr-Reeve junior guard Jenna Knepp left everything she had on the court, but it wasn’t enough to secure another Sectional championship.
Vincennes Rivet (19-4) defeated Barr-Reeve (18-5) 60-47 to win the Sectional 63 championship in a game the Patriots never trailed Saturday evening at Kavanaugh Kourt. Vincennes Rivet fell to Barr-Reeve in the Sectional 63 semi-final last year.
Midway through the first quarter, Viking junior forward scored a layup to cut the early Rivet lead to 7-4, but the Patriots answered with a thunderous punch. Rivet ended the quarter on an 11-0 run to push the lead to 18-4 after the first quarter.
“I thought our quickness tonight really made a difference,” said Vincennes Rivet coach Tim Young. “I thought we were quick to the ball all night. We reacted on passes, and in the first half we were trying to contain the ball, and that really made a difference.”
The Vikings did their best to regain composure in the second quarter, but couldn’t make put a dent in the 14-point deficit. Knepp was the only source of offensive fire power for a while as she scored 12 points in the first half, and converted all eight of her free throw attempts.
“When the first quarter was over we sat down, and we talked about trying to regain composure,” said Barr-Reeve coach Mark Holt. “I thought for the last three quarters we handled that a lot better, but unfortunately the first quarter still counts. They make you handle the ball full court, and even if you beat that full court press you have to handle their half-court defense, which is excellent.”
Both teams scored 16 in the quarter, and Rivet led 34-20 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Knepp scored seven more points, and the Vikings cut the deficit down to 11, 46-35 at the end of the third. In the fourth quarter, after freshman Kelsey Ivers stole a Hannah Bullock inbound pass, the lead was pushed back to 13, 48-35.
The Vikings answered with five straight points from Knepp to cut the lead to 48-40 at the 5:42 mark, the closest Barr-Reeve had been since the first quarter. Rivet put five consecutive points on the board to push the lead back to 13, and effectively put the game out of reach.
Barr-Reeve was led by junior guard Bailey Dreiman with 19 points, and freshman Kelsey Ivers and Katie Donovan scored 15 points apiece.
“It just came down to players making plays,” Young said. “We just try to keep it simple, and let the players play. I got two great playmakers out there in Bailey Dreiman, who plays with so much heart, and Kelsey Ivers, two great point guards. They took pretty good care of the ball tonight. When you have two freshmen score a total of 30 points, that’s pretty impressive.”
Knepp’s 29 points valiantly led Barr-Reeve back, and the junior guard was the only Viking in double figures. Holt continued to be amazed by the numbers she can put on the board with the amount of attention she receives on a nightly basis.
“I think that shows you what kind of player Jenna Knepp is,” Holt said. “Every team we play is going to give her intense defensive intensity. They had one girl playing her with no help, and there was a second girl to get her, and she still puts 29 on the board. She’s just a winner, and she’s going to find ways to get the ball in the basket.”
Barr-Reeve will lose graduating seniors Cori Cummings and Alexis Chestnut, but Holt is confident in the team he will have coming back for next season.
“Hopefully we can find that same senior leadership that Cori and Alexis gave us,” Holt said. “Rivet doesn’t lose a whole lot of seniors either, so there’s going to be a lot of pretty good teams in the area next year. Hopefully the hurt that they suffered tonight sticks around a little while and they try to get themselves back on this stage next year.”
VINCENNES RIVET 18 16 12 14 – 60
BARR-REEVE 4 16 16 11 -- 47
Vincennes Rivet (60)
Dreiman 6 6-6 2 19, Herman 2 0-0 4 4, Ivers 7 0-0 0 15, Wehrheim 0 3-6 4 3, Niehaus 1 0-0 1 2, Donovan 6 0-0 0 15, Heinz 0 0-0 1 0, Meeks 1 0-0 1 2. Totals 23 11-12 13 60.
Bullock 3 0-0 0 8, Knepp 8 11-11 4 29, Cummings 2 0-0 1 4, Graber 1 0-0 3 2, Kenney 2 0-2 3 4, Miller 0 0-1 1 0. Totals 16 11-14 12 47.
3-point goals: Vincennes Rivet (Donovan 3, Dreiman, Ivers), Barr-Reeve 4 (Bullock 2, Knepp 2)