The Barr-Reeve Vikings reduced their magic number to one, with a 59-48 victory
over the North Central Thunderbirds, Saturday afternoon in the Seymour
Semi-State. Barr-Reeve drew first blood on a Trey Hughes jumper but North Central countered
scoring on their first five possessions. As a result the T-Birds jumped out to an early 11-5 lead over the Vikings,
easily breaking the Barr-Reeve's opening game zone press. Senior T-Bird guard Ethan Stanifer drained two early three’s to sustain North Central’s thrust into the Viking defense.
After a Bryan Hughes’s timeout, Barr-Reeve moved out of their zone defense into a man-to-man defense, where the matchups
seemed to be more favorable to the Vikings. The move righted the ship and the Vikings began a sure but methodical comeback. During the last minute of the 1st quarter the Vikings had cut the T-Bird lead to
12-14, and had a chance to take the lead on a last second attempt by Trey
Hughes, but the shot beyond the arc missed to end the quarter.
The second quarter saw a change of strategy for North Central as they dropped
back into a zone defense to try and slow down the Viking offense. As it as been the case so many times during the Viking run to the state,
Barr-Reeve’s defense has shut down their opponents offense on multiple, consecutive
possessions. This was again the case in the 2nd quarter as North Central failed
to convert on four straight possessions. Barr-Reeve took advantage of the T-Bird drought and regained the lead at 19-16. The Vikings defense continued to make the T-Birds work for every shot as
Barr-Reeve pulled away at half-time 27-22.
The Vikings floundered at the start of the 3rd quarter committing three straight
offensive fouls and turning the ball over on four of their first six
possessions. However, the T-Birds could do little to take advantage of their opportunities. The T-Birds did outscore the Vikings 6-2 during this stretch but they would get
no closer than 29-28 at the 4:04 mark.
Senior Trey Hughes took over the 3rd quarter, scoring on three straight
possessions, twice calling for a clear out on the right side. Hughes was able to drop in a running layup on two of those three possessions
creating some breathing room for the Vikings. Perhaps the final dagger came at the end of the 3rd quarter when Hughes, who had
been holding the ball for a last shot, took his T-Bird defender one-on-one,
burying a 3 at the top of key to give the Vikings a 38-32 lead entering the 4th
At the start of the 4th quarter T-Bird guard Ethan Stanifer lost a contact lens
going after a loose ball