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Loogootee pulls plug on Pats
By John Mullen, sports writer  
   Loogootee pulled off a double-weekend sweep, conference-style, as their visit to historic Adams Coliseum was a pleasant one with the junior varsity surviving 22-17 and the varsity hanging on 48-39 against two pesky Vincennes Rivet outfits.  Rivet rented the nostalgic hardwood stomping grounds of the Vincennes Lincoln Alices to entertain the Lions, and both sides had plenty of difficulty adjusting to the tight rims.  In fact, the reserves fell behind 10-2 early in the contest as the basketball seemingly would not go in the hole whatsoever.  
  Jon Sherfick, who would lead the little Lions with eight, scored the only basket in the first.  Loogootee closed on their own 10-2 run to knot the score at 12 heading into intermission.  Rivet did not score in the third, but Loogootee only managed two Sherfick baskets inside.  The fourth was a free-throw-a-thon gone awry as the Lions made just enough, 4-12, to get their second W.  
  For the game, the Lions finished an ice cold 5-21 overall at the line.  Matt Tucker backed up Sherfick with five, Colin Nelson and Waylon Matthews scored three, Stephen Bradley two, and Kirk Lengacher one.  Lengacher and Matthews secured seven and six rebounds respectively.  
  The varsity missed their first nine attempts from the field, falling behind 5-0, before Conner Wittmer got free inside and then canned a trey from the outside to knot the score.  After one quarter, the Patriots held a 10-8 lead.  Juniors John Baugh and Ben Hogan finally got their shots to start falling in the second as the two combined for nine of the team’s eleven.  
  On the other side, Kendall Vieke, averaging more than 20 points per outing, made his only field goal of the game, a three-pointer, as Loogootee edged in front 19-18.  
  The Lions went up 26-21 midway through the third stanza and had two more possessions to extend the advantage; however, Rivet hung tough, and, despite seven tallies in the frame from Baugh, Loogootee only led 30-27.  
  Two of Vieke’s four total fourth quarter free throws gave the Pats their last lead of the contest 33-32 with approximately four minutes to go.
   Hogan responded quickly with a driving lay-up to put the visitors in front to stay 34-33.  Bryant Ackerman and Witter both stuck back-to-back charity tosses at the line, and with Rivet missing shots, foul shooting became the difference as the Lions stuck 17-25 overall, 10-13 under pressure in the final period.  Leading the way was Baugh with 19 points and six caroms. Wittmer registered a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards while adding a team-high four assists. Hogan scored nine, grabbed seven defensive rebounds, and swatted away three shots. Ackerman hit 5-6 free tosses and garnered seven rebounds from his guard spot.  Josh Divine scored the last two digits of the evening from the foul stripe. Jordan Arvin missed his only free throw attempt but spelled Divine and the posts with good defense.  
  Loogootee has a chance to extend their season-opening winning streak to five with a win at Forest Park on Friday night.  The Rangers have not dropped a ballgame to the Lions since Todd Baker’s three-point heroics on Homecoming in December 2004 rescued the hosts, 45-44.  The all-time series with the Rangers is now in their favor 19-18 as the perennially state-ranked 2A squad has defeated the local boys eight straight times on the hardwood.  As a matter of fact, a varsity Lion group hasn’t strung together five straight victories to begin a season since the 1994-95 campaign when Loogootee began 10-0.
-Photo by Larry Hembree
Senior Josh Divine makes a blind pass to his teammate during the game against Vincennes Rivet Saturday, December 5.
Scorebook photo
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