MONTGOMERY — South Knox challenged Class A No. 1 Barr-Reeve in spurts on Friday, but the Spartans' offensive lulls proved too much to overcome.
The Vikings fired with a 12-2 opening punch, and a 6-0 start to the second half was plenty to help Barr-Reeve hold off South Knox, 51-32, in a Blue Chip Conference boys basketball game.
Garrett Holscher scored 19, including four 3-pointers, to shoulder the offensive load for the Spartans (8-9, 4-2 Blue Chip), and Dakota Candler was next with five, but all of his points came in the fourth quarter. Big man Curt Hopf scored half of his game-high 26 points in the final period to help the Vikings (18-2, 7-0) seal the win, and Kayden Graber was next with 10.
South Knox never led but gave itself a chance late. Holscher buried a 3-pointer with 7:30 remaining to cap off a 10-2 run and get the Spartans within 33-24. Barr-Reeve missed at the other end, giving South Knox a chance to get closer, and Holscher had a good look from 3 to get the deficit to six, but it rimmed out.
Hopf answered with a 3-pointer and notched a three-point play with 5:58 left to push the Vikings' lead out to 39-24. The gap didn't get tighter than 13 over the final five minutes.
“We battled. I don't have a complaint with any of our guys' effort. We just need to score a few more points,” South Knox coach David Burkett said. “Our plan was to take the 3 away, and we did for the most part. They have a load inside, and some guys who can make shots on the perimeter. But we competed our rear ends off all night long. For being off two days, I'm pretty pleased with how we competed.”
Brycen Graber and Kayden Graber threes bookended the Vikings' 12-2 start. Holscher sandwiched a pair of 3s around a second Brycen Graber 3 to get South Knox within 15-8 after one.
Holscher had the first 10 points for the Spartans, but both teams struggled to score over the first five minutes of the second period. Holscher's hoop near the three-minute mark made it 16-10, but Hopf notched seven in a 9-4 finish to make it a 25-14 Barr-Reeve lead at intermission.
Hagen Knepp, who's the Vikings' second-leading score averaging 11.5 per game, was scoreless in the first half, but tallied the first four after halftime. The lead swelled to 31-14 when South Knox responded with the last seven points of the third, including a Tristian Wirth 3-pointer, to get the Spartans within 31-21 to start the fourth.
“There were a couple of turnovers against their pressure that I wasn't happy with early, but outside of that, we competed on the glass, we competed inside, and we finally found some ways to score there late,” Burkett said. “The game was at our tempo pretty much all night, until we had to try and catch up at the end. But boy did our kids fight. We showed some guts tonight.”
The junior varsity Spartans (12-4) won, 44-35. Jackson Thomas and Jackson Hoops scored 10 points, Evan Thompson and Logan Fisher seven, and Jayden McIntire six.
South Knox hosts Rivet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for a varsity-only game.
BARR-REEVE 51, SOUTH KNOX 32
Wirth (f) 1-3 0-0 3, Maeder (f) 2-5 0-0 4, Candler (c) 2-4 1-1 5, Holscher (g) 6-12 3-4 19, Robinson (g) 0-6 1-2 1, Dawson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 11-32 5-7 31.
Hopf (f) 10-13 4-5 26, H. Knepp (f) 3-7 0-1 6, K. Graber (g) 4-4 0-0 10, B. Graber (g) 2-6 1-2 7, D. Graber (g) 0-3 0-0 0, Craig 1-1 0-0 2, Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Kidwell 0-1 0-0 0, T. Knepp 0-0 0-1 0. Totals: 20-37 5-9 51.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
South Knox |8-6-7-11 — 32
Barr-Reeve |15-10-6-20 — 51
3-pointers: South Knox 5-15 (Holscher 4-8, Wirth 1-3, Robinson 0-1, Candler 0-1, Maeder 0-2), Barr-Reeve 6-15 (K.Graber 2-2, B.Graber 2-4, Hopf 2-4, H. Knepp 0-1, Kidwell 0-1, Miller 0-1, D.Graber 0-2). Rebounds: South Knox 19 (Wirth, Roobinson 6), Barr-Reeve 21 (Hopf 8). Turnovers: South Knox 9, Barr-Reeve 4. Fouls: South Knox 10, Barr-Reeve 8. JV: South Knox 44-35.