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Vikings wreck Lion’s Den
By John Mullen   
   A huge crowd came in the early afternoon to see two Class 1A heavyweights do battle, but it was a jolly Barr-Reeve contingent that went home to watch primetime Colts playoff football as they upended the hosts, 46-33, in what more than likely just determined this season’s Blue Chip Conference champion.  
  A devastating 2-3 zone held Loogootee nearly scoreless during the first quarter and actually kept the Lions field goal-less for almost twelve minutes.  
  The Vikings roared out to a comfortable 13-2 lead, John Baugh’s two free throws the only tallies from the hosts in the opening period. The advantage grew to 19-3 before Jordan Arvin hit the team’s first shot nearly four minutes into the second stanza. Conner Wittmer drained a trey to cut the deficit to 19-8, but Brandon Graber had an answer from two-point range. Loogootee turnovers continued to plague the effort to get to double figures as B-R maintained a sizable 21-8 cushion heading into intermission. The Lions were anemic in the first half of the basketball game, missing their first 13 strokes and making just 1-9 from both two-point range as well as the arc. Baugh got a three-pointer to go down early in the third, and Wittmer duplicated the effort the next time down the hardwood to bring the score to 21-14, forcing a time-out by Barr-Reeve at 5:56. Bryant Ackerman hit his second and third charity tosses of the contest, respectively, to bring the Lions within five, but the Vikes responded with a hoop underneath. Wittmer’s offensive rebound and two free throws that followed with two minutes remaining sliced the deficit to five, but a big turnover led to an old-fashioned three-point play from Trey Hughes. Ben Hogan got a shot to go down inside off a feed from Wittmer, the difference was a half-dozen at 26-20. Ackerman and then Hughes both picked up their fourth personal fouls in the final forty-five seconds, but rather than settling for the final shot of the period, a deep Loogootee three by Wittmer missed, and when Brandon Graber stuck a put-back and-one on Josh Divine’s fourth foul, the lead ballooned to nine. Divine had a chance to get two back from the line with no time but missed both opportunities as B-R fronted 29-20.  
  Hogan hit a jumper to begin the fourth but Jordan Sinnott answered on the block. Baugh swished two free tosses a minute into the fourth quarter. Loogootee continued to remain way too 3 happy as they tried to climb back in, and by the time the score reached 36-24 halfway through, the turnovers and missed long-range bombs were simply too much for the home team to overcome. Following a Wittmer freebie and two from Christian Duncheon, Ackerman threw in a three-ball at 3:03 for a 38-28 difference, and Baugh’s lay-in exactly fifty-nine seconds later brought LHS within eight. They would get no closer as Duncheon closed out the scoring with a breakaway lay-up to seal the thirteen-point difference.  
  Wittmer led in scoring with 10 points, but Duncheon took game-high honors with 14 tallies, including six of eight makes at the line. Graber’s inside presence also provided 12 while Hughes was kept in check managing just seven. Sinnott came off the bench for six valuable tallies as well. Aiding Wittmer was Baugh with nine, Ackerman made six, Hogan two shots for four, and Arvin and Divine a deuce each. Loogootee did follow up a ten-block performance against ND with nine more swats, including five from Wittmer and three by Hogan, but ultimately, the Vikings continued to cast a spell on Loogootee as they have now won five straight in the series, and only a relatively surprising 52-49 Lion win in Montgomery three years ago prevents B-R from claiming eight straight in the heated rivalry.  
  Barr-Reeve upped their slate to 10-2 with outings ahead against Wood Memorial and North Daviess. Loogootee dropped to 8-3 and will also face a double weekend, on the road at a scary 3-10 Bloomfield and back at Jack Butcher Arena on Saturday night versus always rugged and formidable Northeast Dubois.
-Photo by Larry Hembree
Loogootee’s Bryant Ackerman drives past the Barr-Reeve defender to the bucket. Ackerman had six points in the game.