Spartans can't slow Vikings

Photo by Matt Griffith

South Knox's Justin Fickling, center, goes to the basket against Barr-Reeve's Hagen Knepp, Keegan O'Neill (50) and Jacob Wagler on Friday at South Knox.

Barr-Reeve is ranked No. 3 in Class A for a reason, and South Knox's boys basketball team got a 32-minute visual why Friday.

The Vikings strung 19 points together in the first half, and the Spartans trailed by double figures the rest of the way in Barr-Reeve's 57-36 Blue Chip Conference victory at South Knox.

Justin Fickling scored 19 points for the Spartans (9-10, 4-2 Blue Chip), who were trying to overtake the Vikings (19-1, 6-1) for second place in the league. Instead South Knox absorbed its most-lopsided home loss of the season and its second most-lopsided defeat overall, only surpassed by Evansville Reitz's 70-48 win over the Spartans last Saturday.

Keegan O'Neill had 14 points, Devin Graber 12, Hagen Knepp 10 and Brycen Graber nine in a balanced effort by Barr-Reeve.

The Spartans built a 4-1 lead on Logan Anthis and Walker McCrary baskets and had a 6-5 advantage on two Fickling free throws. But that's when Barr-Reeve went on its lengthy spurt, holding South Knox scoreless for 6 1/2 minutes.

Brycen Graber and Devin Graber scored seven apiece in the opening quarter, leading the Vikings to a 20-6 lead, and the visitors scored the first two baskets of the second quarter. Fickling stopped Barr-Reeve's run with a 3-pointer, and Cody Dawson followed with a bucket to cut the gap to 24-11, but the Spartans never got closer.

They attempted to rally later in the quarter when Brennon Robinson and Garrett Holscher canned 3-pointers, both coming off Dawson offensive rebounds, to get within 30-17. Barr-Reeve called timeout and received O'Neill and Jacob Wagler threes on its last two possessions of the half, to offset a Fickling trifecta, to take a 36-20 lead into halftime.

The Vikings pushed their lead to 20 for the first time when O'Neill converted for the final third-quarter points, taking a 48-28 advantage.

South Knox had eight players score, but after Fickling, nobody had more than Anthis' four points.

The junior varsity Spartans (15-3) pulled out a 44-43 victory. Jackson Thomas led with 10 points, and Dylan Maeder and Dakota Candler eight apiece.

South Knox plays at Rivet at 6 p.m. Tuesday.




H.Knepp (f) 5 0-0 10, O'Neill (c) 5 3-6 14, J.Wagler (g) 2 0-0 6, B.Graber (g) 4 1-1 9, D.Graber (g) 5 0-1 12, K.Graber 0 0-0 0, A.Wagler 0 0-0 0, Boyd 0 0-0 0, Miller 1 0-0 3, Kidwell 1 0-0 3, T.Knepp 0 0-0 0, Kenney 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 4-8 57.


Anthis (f) 2 0-0 4, Fickling (f) 6 5-11 19, McCrary (c) 2 0-0 4, Holscher (g) 1 0-0 3, Robinson (g) 1 0-0 3, Dawson 1 0-0 2, Maeder 0 1-2 1, Thomas 0 2-2 2. Totals: 12 8-15 36.


Barr-Reeve |20-16-12-9 — 57

South Knox |6-14-8-8 — 36

3-pointers: Barr-Reeve 7 (J.Wagler 2, D.Graber 2, Miller, Kidwell, O'Neill), South Knox 4 (Fickling 2, Holscher, Robinson). Fouls: Barr-Reeve 12, South Knox 7. JV: South Knox 44-43.

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