Vikes outbattle Lions, 43-41

Jan. 12—LOOGOOTEE — One thing is for certain, Sectional 63 will be a good one.

On Friday two of the sectional favorites, and a pair of the most ferocious small school rivals in the state, battled in Jack Butcher Arena.

And like so many times before, it came down to the wire in Barr-Reeve's 43-41 BCC win over Loogootee.

B-R used balanced scoring with 12 from Seth Wagler and nine each from Braydon Knepp and Kendall Graber. Donnie Miller added eight and Evan Wehmeier added four in the victory.

Loogootee was down 22-9 at one point, but eight threes and 14 points from AJ Foster helped take the game down to final seconds and gave them a chance to win. Leighton Jeffers also had 12 points and Isaac Waggner 10, as the trio hit big shots all night.

"Seth (Wagler) kept his composure and was able to get the ball into the heart of the defense all night. Kendall did great job on the boards and hit really big shots for us. He really was the key tonight.

"I like where we are right now, 12-1 is a lot better that 1-12," joked B-R coach Josh Thompson.

LHS coach Dave Smith like the way his team responded in the second half.

"We knew we had to get back into it possession-by-possession and I thought we did a good job of that after the half. Heck, if Leighton hits that last shot, we might still be playing tonight," said Smith.

"We've got things to work on, but we'll be back at it on Monday."

The Vikes opened with triples from Graber and Wagler. Loogootee closed it to 6-4, but Knepp also went deep.

Isaac Waggner picked up his second bucket for the Lions, but Miller and Wagler added two more buckets. Lion Brandon Bledsoe joined the 3-point parade, but a 3 from Graber and a putback from center Evan Wehmeier made it 19-9 at the end of the first quarter, as B-R was helped going 4-6 from behind the arc.

Baskets from Waggner and Leighton Jeffers cut the margin to 22-13, but Wagler added a splash to make 25-14. AJ Foster picked up his second and third bucket of the night for the Lions and LHS was back to within six, which is how the half would end, with a 27-21 Viking lead.

Foster had the last two baskets of the first half one of second, as LHS was back to within four points. The Lions went on a 7-2 run in the first 4:30 of the third, pulling to 28-29.

Braydon Knepp moved the lead back to three for the Vikes, but a late trey from Waggner ended the quarter with the Lions within one, 33-32 going in to the final eight minutes.

A Foster triple gave the Lions its first lead of the game, however it didn't long as Kendall Graber responded with a basket. Braydon Knepp gave the Vikes another lead at 38-37 with under 4:00 to play as the scoring continued to see-saw.

Drew Walker picked up his first two points of the game with a pair of free throws with just 61 ticks left in the game, again giving the Lions a 41-40 lead.

Knepp again answered the bell to take the lead back and B-R extended it to 43-41 with :13 left. Loogootee got a decent look in the final seconds, but the Vikes hung on for the win and moved to 12-1.

In the JV contest, Loogootee posted a 47-40 win. On Friday the Vikes host Wood Memorial and play North Daviess on Saturday. Loogootee takes on Bloomfield on Jan. 20 at JBA.