LOOGOOTEE — They say all streaks will eventually be broken, and Loogootee proved that on Friday. The No. 8 Loogootee Lions downed No. 1 Barr-Reeve 53-48 to end a 10-game overall losing streak to B-R and 13-game skid at Jack Butcher Arena against the Vikes, and was the first loss was the first of the year for the Vikes. Loogootee was sparked by a 14-point second half from junior Silas Bauer who was able to find a way to stop any Viking momentum.
“Hats off to Ryan and his kids, they not only out-played us as a team, but Silas Bauer was the best player on the floor tonight,” said B-R coach Josh Thompson. “We didn’t make any shots until late, and Loogootee was able to stop every run.
“I’m not a guy who likes to lose, but we needed this to help us refocus on the things we need to do better.”
LHS got 15 each from Peyton Bledsoe and Jordan Wildman, while Jalen Wildman had seven and Landon Harder had two to go along with Bauer’s 14.
“No one is going to dominate Keegan O’Neill, but we wanted to play even with him, and I think Silas had his best game. We kept the turnovers under 10, and I felt like we played a great game as a team,” said LHS coach Ryan Haywood.
Hagen Knepp and Keegan O’Neill opened up the scoring for the Vikings, but a 3-pointer from Peyton Bledsoe rattled in to keep Loogootee close. Knepp and Jordan Wildman traded 3-pointers and the two rivals found themselves tied at 7-all with 2:45 left in the quarter. Loogootee’s Landon Harder and Peyton Bledsoe pushed the lead to 12-9, but a splash from Brycen Graber allowed the Vikes to end the half tied at 12.
Bledsoe remained hot from behind the line, followed by a jumper from Jalen Wildman, giving LHS a five point lead, as B-R missed its first five shots of the quarter. Bledsoe added another basket as B-R was only able to post one free throw in the first six minutes of the second quarter, Knepp added a trey that cut it back to 19-16, but Loogootee was able to push it to 21-16 at the end of the half.
B-R used free throws from Brycen Graber and a pair of O’Neill putbacks to chip away at the Loogootee, but Bauer and Jordan Wildman continued to answer, including a power dunk from Bauer that gave the Lions a 33-28 lead with a minute to play in the third, which is how the third quarter would end.
The Vikings claimed back to within three on an O’Neill bucket, but Bauer answered in the battle of the big men to keep it at five with 5:34 to play in the game. The pair continued to trade baskets, but the Lions were able to keep the lead at five. Brycen Graber added two free throws and cut it to three, but again Bauer was able to push it to five with under three minutes to play.
The Lions extended it to 42-34, but Brycen Graber added a trey with 1:14 left to play to keep the Vikes alive. Although Jake Wagler came up with six points late in the contest, along with a trey from Brycen Graber that cut the game to 51-48, Loogootee was able to get to the free throw line enough to salt the game away at 53-48.
The Vikings got 18 from Brycen Graber, 12 from Keegan O’Neill and Hagen Knepp and six from Jacob Wagler.
Loogootee took the JV contest, 43-32. Loogootee hosts Bloomfield on Friday, while B-R host Wood Memorial and North Daviess.