Rivet celebrated its Senior Night on Tuesday, and it's one that Grace Waggoner likely won't forget.
The Lady Patriots' senior went off for 30 points to break the school and Knox County all-time scoring record, while Class A No. 2 Rivet remained undefeated with a 72-25 victory over Lawrenceville, Ill., at Ralph Holscher Gym.
Tia Tolbert added 15 points for the Patriots (22-0), and reserve Lauren Carie scored nine. Waggoner and Tolbert each had five assists. For Lawrenceville (13-12), Jayley Akers led the way with 15 points.
Waggoner entered the contest needing 13 points to pass Indiana Basketball Hall of Famer Kelly Lane for the Rivet and Knox County all-time scoring mark, set in 1983. She also surpassed the county boys scoring mark of 1,665, set by North Knox's Ryan Kerns in 1998. Waggoner, who now sits at 1,681, is battling with North Knox senior Makinzi Meurer (1,657 points) the rest of the season to determine who finishes as the county's top scorer.
Waggoner scored her 13th point to pass Lane with just under six minutes to play in the second quarter, and two possessions later, she scored again with 4:54 showing to get by Kerns. At that point the game was stopped to recognize the accomplishment.
“The big thing was to get that obstacle out of the way for Grace, and we got that done in the first half,” Rivet coach Rick Marshall said. “She's a special player. (Indiana University coach) Teri Moren is getting a special kid. She works hard and plays the game the way it's meant to be played. She needed 15 points, but she didn't force anything. She let the game come to her, and I admire her for that.”
The Patriots couldn't have asked for a better start. Tolbert opened with a 3-pointer, and Rivet netted nine of its first 10 shots while building a 20-2 advantage, and the margin grew to 27-2 by the end of the period. Waggoner scored 11 and Tolbert 10 in the quarter.
Waggoner added 11 more in her record-setting second quarter, and the margin grew to 48-7 by halftime. The Indians opened the second half with an 8-3 burst, but Rivet still held a wide margin, 57-18, by the end of the period.
“We played hard from the start, and probably had one of the best starts we've had all season,” Marshall said. “We came out ready to play, and these kids have played harder and harder defensively the last three games.”
Marshall also applauded the career of Rivet's other senior, Molly Niehaus.
“She's our unsung hero. She works her tail off and gives you all she's got. She's a great kid and a great role player who doesn't care how many points she scores. She just wants the team to win,” Marshall said.
Rivet's junior varsity (7-9) prevailed, 35-14. Gracie Winegar led Rivet with eight points as nine players scored. Haley Bellville led the Indians with five points.
Both teams play again Thursday. The Patriots have a chance to wrap up their second straight Blue Chip Conference title and their first outright crown since 2016 when they visit Northeast Dubois to close out the regular season with a 6:30 p.m. varsity-only start. They're also trying for their first unbeaten regular season since 2011, when they won the Class A state championship. Lawrenceville visits Casey at 6:15 p.m. CST.
RIVET 72, LAWRENCEVILLE 25
Williams (f) 2 0-4 4, Bedwell (c) 0 0-0 0, Higginbotham (g) 0 0-0 0, Shick (g) 1 0-0 3, Akers (g) 5 3-4 15, Petty 1 0-0 3, Joines 0 0-0 0, Reid 0 0-0 0, Morehead 0 0-0 0, Bellville 0 0-0 0, Alexander 0 0-0 0, Oliveria 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9 3-8 25.
Tolbert (f) 6 2-3 15, Waggoner (f) 12 6-6 30, Niehaus (c) 1 2-4 4, Hamilton (g) 2 0-0 5, C.Herman (g) 3 0-0 7, Halter 1 0-0 2, K.Herman 0 0-0 0, Trent 0 0-0 0, Carie 3 3-4 9. Totals: 28 13-17 72.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Lawrenceville|2-5-11-7 — 25
Rivet|27-21-9-15 — 72
3-pointers: Lawrenceville 4 (Akers 2, Shick, Petty), Rivet 3 (Hamilton, Tolbert, C.Herman). Fouls: Lawrenceville 15, Rivet 9. JV: Rivet 35-14.