By Gregg A. Sims
Micah Bullock may not have had his best game for Barr-Reeve Monday in the Graber Post Tournament, but he hit a MVP-like 3-pointer for the Vikings when it counted most. Bullock’s 3-pointer with 55 seconds left in the second overtime gave Class A No. 2 Barr-Reeve (10-0) a lead it would not relinquish, as the Vikings outlasted Class A No. 7 North Daviess (8-2), 44-42, in two overtimes for the tournament championship.
Bullock, who received the tournament MVP award after the victory, hit his three to give Barr-Reeve a 41-39 lead, the first the Vikings had enjoyed since leading the Cougars 27-24 with 6:53 left in regulation.
“He (Bullock) played hard,” Barr-Reeve coach Bryan Hughes said. “He made some mistakes, but like all of our kids he really battled. He’s probably our most athletic player. He just plays the game and he’s
The comeback was the second in two rounds of the tournament, after Barr-Reeve defeated Class 3A No. 6 Brownstown Central, 60-55, Saturday, by scoring the game’s final nine points. North Daviess had led the second overtime 39-36 with 2:11 to play on two free throws from Nick Crays.
The Cougars then gained possession after Adam Wagler blocked a shot by Bullock on the baseline with 1:56 remaining, but that was about the last play that went well for North Daviess. Following a North Daviess timeout, Crays slipped while dribbling against Barr-Reeve pressure, and then fouled Logan James in the ensuing rush for the loose ball. James hit two free throws to cut the gap to 39-38. That’s when Bullock went to work following a second Cougar turnover for his 3-pointer, giving the Vikings the lead.
Adam Wagler missed a three on the ensuing Cougar possession, and James was fouled on the rebound with 20 seconds to play. He again hit both free throws, giving Barr-Reeve a 43-39 lead. Crays then missed an attempt for a three, and Addison Wagler was fouled with 11 seconds left. Wagler made one of two for a 44-39 advantage and Crays made a 3-pointer as time expired for the 44-42 final after Wes Lengacher had missed an earlier 3-point attempt of his own.
“I thought we stepped up as a team and showed ourselves what type of team we can be,” North Daviess coach Brent Dalrymple said. “Yes, obviously we still have things to work on. If we didn’t we would have
won this game. I thought we stepped up a level, and Barr-Reeve helped us do that. This tournament helps you do that. Yes, we wanted to beat Barr-Reeve. Yes, we wanted to win the GPB, but it’s still about
learning and boy, did we learn a lot about ourselves and what it’s going to take to continue on with the season.”
North Daviess could make an argument that the game should have ended in regulation, but the Cougars missed their opportunities to put the game away in the fourth. The Cougars converted four of seven free throws in the final 3:18 of regulation. Crays was one of three and missed the front end of a bonus free throw. Kelby Byrer was two of four and also missed the front end of a bonus.
“We were up two twice at the line in regulation,” Dalrymple said. “Up
three with the ball, so it is what it is. Give credit to Barr-Reeve.
We knew they wouldn’t stop playing, and they didn’t and made plays to
At the same time, the Cougars would not have had those opportunities without the pair. Crays scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter and the two extra periods.
“Nick hasn’t really run up and down that much in the days before this tournament,” Dalrymple said. “He went out and played three games, the last in double overtime. The young man has a heart that could fill up a whole gym. It’s just something that is uncoachable.”
Byrer, who did excellent inside work for North Daviess had not scored until the fourth quarter, and he ended with six, all in that fourth period.
“I thought both Kelby and Wes were sensational inside,” Dalrymple said. “We let them go one-on-one inside, and I thought they did a tremendous job.” “We were in some really touchy situations late in the game,” Hughes said. “But we came through and made plays, and you have to like your team when those things happen.”
Wagler led the Vikings with 11 points and Bullock was second with 10. James scored nine points, but five came in the opening quarter and he did not light the lamp again until he hit the four free throws in the
second overtime. But it was James’ defensive work against Crays that highlighted his night despite Crays scoring 21.
“You look at a player like Nick, and he has 21 points and I really feel like Logan did a really good job on him,” Hughes said. “He played him tough, and that just tells you how good Nick Crays is.” Barr-Reeve started quickly with an 11-6 first-quarter advantage with Jacob Bledsoe scoring six and James five.
But the Cougars responded in the second quarter for a 20-16 halftime lead behind eight points from Lengacher. Barr-Reeve won the third period, but it was only by a 7-4 margin as the Cougars led 24-23, heading into the final period. Bullock put the Vikings up 25-24 early in the period and then added a
second field goal for the 27-24 lead. Heath Graber hit two free throws with 35 seconds remaining to tie the game at 34.
Both teams missed opportunities in the final 30 seconds to win. Wagler got what seemed to be a game-winning steal that led to a passto Bullock driving to the Barr-Reeve basket. But the ball slipped
from Bullock’s hands and bounced out of bounds with two seconds remaining. North Daviess then was able to get Wagler a 30-footer for the win as time expired as Brady Helms passed inbounds to Lengacher at the top of the Barr-Reeve key who then passed to a streaking Wagler on the left side across the 10-second line.
But the difficult desperation shot while on the run missed. Both teams scored two points in the first overtime. Crays hit two free throws with 2:38 left and Wagler followed 29 seconds later with a
field goal. And both teams had chances in the first extra four minutes to win. The Vikings had three consecutive shots with the help of two offensive rebounds that failed to score near the three-minute mark.
Wagler then passed to Byers while the Cougars worked to take time off the clock with 1:30 remaining. But Byers wasn’t anticipating the pass and the ball crossed the time line. The championship was the first for the Vikings in the tournament’s seventh year.
“The biggest thing about this tourament is what I mentioned earlier is that we wanted to play meaningful games, and after winning our first one, we got Brownstown Central, which we think is a very good basketball team, with a nice comeback,” Hughes said. “We then play the Cougars on their home floor, so they were meaningful and you hope they (the Vikings) will take things from it.”
The two teams return to North Daviess Jan. 19 for their regular season meeting.
NORTH DAVIESS 6 14 4 10 2 6 – 42
BARR-REEVE 11 5 7 11 2 8 – 44
North Daviess (42) – Nick Crays 6 6-9 4 21, Brady Helms 0 0-0 2 0,
Nick Woodruff0 0-0 0 0, Wes Lengacher 3 3-3 4 11, Tyler Hostetter 0
2-2 2 2, Adam Wagler 0 0-0 1 0, Kelby Byrer 2 2-6 2 6, Austin Buehler
1 0-0 2 2.
Totals 12 12-20 17 42.
Barr-Reeve (44) – Myron Stoll 0 0-0 1 0, Brandon Wagler 1 1-2 4 4,
Micah Bullock 4 0-0 2 10, Logan James 2 4-4 4 9, Heath Graber 0 2-2 2
2, Jon McMullen 0 0-0 1 0, Addison Wagler 4 3-5 2 11, Jacob Bledsoe 4
0-1 4 8. Totals 15 10-14 20 44.
3-point goals: North Daviess 5 (Crays 3, Lengacher 2), Barr-Reeve 4
(Bullock 2, B. Wagler, James).