Vikes head back to the sectional finals

Mar. 1—LOOGOOTEE — A classic Class A Top 7 match up between border rivals Loogootee and Barr-Reeve was enough to springboard No. 1 Barr-Reeve (22-2) into a top 3 duel with Orleans on Saturday in the sectional semi-finals at Jack Butcher Arena.

Although the Lions kept it close in the first three quarters, B-R was able to catch fire in the final eight minutes to secure the win. B-R was able to stretched a three-point margin with a 19-11 run in the final quarter to garner win, and setting up an instant classic with No. 3 Orleans (22-3).

B-R's Seth Wagler led the way with 16, while Donnie Miller had 10 including two big treys. Evan Wehmeier had six points and Kendall Graber posted seven, while the Vikes also got scoring from Landon Miller and Korben Boyd.

"We weren't where we wanted to be after three quarters, and we were hurt on some ball screens, but in the second half we decided to blitz those ball screens and that made a difference," said B-R coach Josh Thompson.

"We are a gritty team and that's how we played in the fourth quarter. We really have been preparing for Loogootee and Orleans for the last three weeks because we didn't know how the draw would go."

The Lions were led by Drew Walker and AJ Foster with nine each, while Isaac Waggner had seven.

Graber and Wagler battled Drew Walker to a 5-5 tie in the first two minutes, while Wehmeier and AJ Foster traded points to tie it 7-all. Wagler and Miller stretched the Viking margin to 12-7 but Loogootee would draw back to 9-12 at the end of the quarter,

Wagler opened the second quarter with a traditional 3-point play and the Vikes led 15-9, but Wagler picked up his second foul. Walker and Foster connected on five straight points and Loogootee pulled back to within three at 17-14 with three minutes to play in the half. Foster again pulled Loogootee within three nad played for the last shot of the half, but the Vikes were still able to hold on for the 19-16 lead after 16 minutes.

Free throw shooting dominated the first 2:00 of the second half and Lions were able to pull to within two at 21-19. Loogootee did pick up third fouls on Isaac Waggner and Leighton Jeffers. Landon Miller picked up the first field goal of the quarter, but it was immediately followed by a triple from Loogootee's Brandon Bledsoe. Donnie Miller added the Vikings final basket of the quarter and they went into the final quarter with just a three-point lead, 25-22.

Wagler and Graber both scored of Lion turnovers to make it 30-24 with 5:30 left to play. However, Waggner answered with a 3-ball to keep the game tight.

Donnie Miller got three back for the Vikes and they moved out to a 33-25 lead heading into the final 3:00. Graber also added a three ball and Wehmeier had a basket in the lane, but was it answered by Bledsoe who cut the lead to 10.

Loogootee's freshman Will Lyon cut the lead to just eight with a 3-pointer from the corner but free throws frow Wagler pushed it to double figures. Landon Miller and Korben Boyd added late points and the Vikes came away with the 44-33 win.

In the first game, Orleans opened up with a 45-3 lead at the half half and then finished off Vincennes Rivet, 69-21 to secure their spot in the Saturday night final at 7 p.m. with the Vikes at JBA.