The Vincennes Rivet girls basketball team entered Tuesday night's game looking to stay in sole possession of first place in the conference standings, and 32 minutes later, nothing had changed.
The Class A No. 5 Patriots (13-4, 6-0 Blue Chip) defeated No. 8 Barr-Reeve (12-3, 5-2) 50-40 at Kavanaugh Kourt for its fifth straight victory.
Rivet jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead in the first two minutes with all seven points coming from freshman Kelsey Ivers. The Vikings responded with a 8-2 run to take a 10-9 lead into the final minute of the quarter. After a turnover by junior Jenna Knepp, Bailey Dreiman beat the buzzer on a three-point attempt from the right win to give the Patriots a 12-10 lead after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the teams traded blows, and the Vikings appeared to be finding their footing as they tied the game at 17 with 4:45 to play before halftime. The Patriots, however, ended the quarter on an 11-3 run to take a 28-20 lead into halftime, to quiet the Barr-Reeve faithful.
Barr-Reeve coach Mark Holt said the Vikings went to a 2-1-2 zone, a defense they hadn't used since November in hopes of slowing down the Patriots inside game. Facing an eight-point deficit at halftime, Holt said they had to spread themselves out, which led to less rebounds, which Rivet took advantage of on its way to the 10-point victory.
Knepp scored six of her 15 points in the first half, but the Rivet defense made each possession difficult for her, which paid dividends for the Patriots as the game winded down.
"I thought coach (Tim) Young had a nice defensive plan, they were going to do all they could to slow down Jenna Knepp," Holt said. "Even if she did get her points, they made her work for 32 minutes. She did get worn down as the game went on." In the third quarter, Rivet continued to control the pace of the game, as Lauren Herman scored six of her game-high 16 points. Barr-Reeve as able to cut the lead to 34-28 with just over two minutes to play in the quarter, but Rivet responded with four straight to give the Patriots a 38-28 lead after three quarters. In addition to the 16 points from Herman, Ivers scored 13 points, and senior Allyson Wehrheim added 12.
In the first 90 seconds of the final quarter, Rivet pushed the lead to 12, 42-30, after two Bailey Dreiman free throws, and the game seemed to be slipping away from the Vikings. After a Holt timeout at the six minute mark, senior Cori Cummings and sophomore Hannah Bullock hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to just six points, 42-37. Rivet responded with an 8-3 run to end the comeback, and the game.
Knepp and Cummins combined for 29 of the 40 Viking points. Holt said at times his younger players looked like what they are, younger players.
"I told Hannah (Bullock) that was her first time in the arena, so to speak," Holt said. "I think the game got to her a little bit. She made some errors that she doesn¹t characteristically make. Hopefully if we see these teams again in February if that occurs, that some of the younger girls learn from this experience." Following Tuesday¹s loss, Holt hopes his team can avoid a let down after losing to a rival like Rivet.
"We've just come through a stretch of four, with South Knox, Northeast Dubois, Forest Park and Rivet," Holt said. "It's tough to gather your emotional and physical energy one more time."
VINCENNES RIVET 12 16 10 12 50
BARR-REEVE 10 10 8 12 40
Vincennes Rivet (50) - Dreiman 2 2-2 3 7, Herman 5 6-7 0 16, Donovan 1 0-0 1 2, Emmons 0 0-0 1 0, Ivers 4 4-4 1 13, Wehrheim 4 2-2 1 12. Totals 16 14-15
Barr-Reeve (40) - Cummings 5 1-2 5 14, Knepp 3-4 1 15, Graber 0 0-0 3 0, Bullock 2 0-0 1 6, Lengacher 0 0-0 3 0, Kenny 2 1-2 0 5. Totals 15 5-8 13 40.
3-point goals: Vincennes Rivet 4 (Wehrheim 2, Ivers, Dreiman), Barr-Reeve 5 (Cummings 3, Bullock 2).