Barr-Reeve defeated Washington, 36-27, to open each team’s boys basketball season Wednesday at the Hatchet House.
Washington retired the No. 40 from basketball, and Indiana University sophomore Cody Zeller was on hand with parents Steve and Lorri to represent Luke and Tyler who were busy in the National Basketball Association.
Barr-Reeve’s Micah Bullock led both teams in scoring with 13 points. The game was better for Barr-Reeve than last, as the Vikings dropped a 58-48 decision to Washington before winning 20 of its next 22.
Beyond that, it wasn’t a very pretty contest with two teams trying to break in new players.
“You never want to start a season with a loss,” Washington coach Gene Miiller said. “But, fifty percent of the teams in Indiana will start that way. We just struggled defensively all night.”
“That was pretty ugly basketball to be quite honest,” Barr-Reeve coach Bryan Hughes said. “It’s the first game, and both teams have a lot of kids that, I guess you could say, were playing their first varsity basketball. It was frustrating, but the end result was better than a year ago.”
Barr-Reeve never trailed after Bullock and Cullen Arnold traded early three-pointers for each team. Jacob Bledsoe gave the Vikings a 5-3 lead with a field goal at the 5:14 mark.
The Vikings the scored the next six points for an 11-3 lead before Tyler Stoll stopped the early run at 3:27 of the opening period with a traditional two-pointer.
The quarter ended as it started with Bullock adding his second three-pointer to give the Vikings a 16-10 lead.
The squads combined for eight points in the second quarter, with Barr-Reeve winning 5-3.
The third wasn’t much different, with Washington taking the third, 7-6, for a 27-20 Barr-Reeve lead.
The Vikings opened their largest lead at 30-20 on Bullock’s third three with 7:06 to play. Colten Garland cut the gap to 30-22 and Arnold cut the lead to 30-24 with 4:12 remaining.
Arnold had a chance to bring Washington to within four with a pair of free throws at 2:47, but both missed the mark, and the Vikings put the game away.
Barr-Reeve held the ball for 1:25 until Austin Ghirardelli fouled Logan James with 1:22 to go. James hit both free throws.
Cody Milligan got a basket and a foul to cut the gap back to 32-27 with 1:07 left, but Bullock converted a basket off a steal after missing the front end of a bonus free throw.
The basket gave Barr-Reeve a 34-27 lead before James made two final free throws for the 36-27 final.
Barr-Reeve made 12 of 34 from the field and had 13 turnovers. The Hatchets made 11-35 and had 16 turnovers.
“When you shoot 11-35 and have 16 turnovers and don’t get to the free throw line (Washington made one of three) those are three big stats in a ballgame. It’s hard to win when you have more turnovers than field goals. We just have to get better.”
Addison Wagler scored 12 points for the Vikings. Andy Garland finished with 10 for Washington. Miller said he believed Garland was, “our player of the game. He played well at both ends of the floor.”
“You look at that final score, and I’m not for sure if it was really lock-down defense at both ends or bad basketball. I don’t think it was lock-down defense. Both teams just struggled at the offensive end. The kids played hard. I have no problem with their effort. You just can’t go periods of time without scoring the basketball like we did. We wasted away a lot of opportunities.”
“We’ll come back to work Friday, and try to execute better offensively,” Miiller said. “We were not very patient at times and our passing was not very good. We have to do a better job of handling the basketball. It looked like the first game of a season. Hopefully, we’ll get better in the second game.”
Barr-Reeve won the junior varsity, 38-33.
Barr-Reeve 16-5-6-9 — 36
Washington 10-3-7-7 — 27