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IHSAA Boys Basketball: 2021 Class 1A State Championship Game Preview: Barr-Reeve v. Kouts

A basketball season that has truly been unique, for obvious reasons, will conclude on April 3rd, when the 2021 Boys Basketball State Championships will take place in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  The April conclusion to the Boys Basketball State Tournament will be the first of its kind since 1978.

The full day of hoops will begin with a clash for the Class 1A State Championship, as the Barr-Reeve Vikings (28-2) (ranked # 1 in Final Class 1A AP Poll, and T-9th in Final IBCA Poll), take on the Kouts Mustangs (29-2) (ranked # 3 in Final Class 1A AP Poll).

The Vikings are certainly no stranger to deep Tournament runs and highly successful teams, and the 2020-2021 edition is no exception.  This will be the Vikings’ seventh appearance in the 1A State Championship Game since 2002.  Barr-Reeve is led by 6’9” Senior Center (and Bellarmine signee) Curt Hopf (19.2 PPG, 9.2 RPG) and 6’3” Senior Point Guard (and Grace College commit) Brycen Graber (8.0 APG).  Graber is also the IHSAA’s all-time leader in assists.  6’4” Junior Forward Hagen Knepp (11.5 PPG and IBCA Small School Underclass All-State selection) serves as another potent cog in the Vikings’ offensive attack.

As efficient as the Vikings’ offense is, its efforts on the defensive end (a 1A-leading 39 PPG allowed on the season) have served Barr-Reeve well on the run through the Southern half of 1A, where the Vikings have allowed fewer than 33 points per game in the State Tournament.

Kouts, making its first appearance in the State Finals, features a high-powered offense (1st in 1A, 4th in the state) that comes in averaging nearly 76 points per game on the season.  The Mustangs are led by 6’0” Senior Guard Cole Wireman (an IBCA 1st Team Small School selection), one of the leading scorers in the state, having poured in 26+ PPG this season.  5’11” Senior Guard Cale Wireman (17 PPG), 6’4” Senior Forward Hunter Kneifel (nearly 11 PPG), and 6’5” Senior Forward Parker Kneifel (each an IBCA Small School Honorable Mention selection).

The Mustangs have lit up the scoreboard to the tune of nearly 79 points per game on its run through the Northern half of the 1A State Tournament.

Going into this one, it seems to be a contrast of styles, as B-R brings its experience, offensive efficiency, and stout defense, while upstart Kouts has roared through the Northern half of 1A with an explosive offense.

Will the powerhouse Vikings bring another State Championship to Montgomery?  Can the upstart Mustangs pull off the upset and bring Kouts its first State Championship?

Indiana Preps Hoops will be live from Bankers Life Fieldhouse throughout the day.  The Class 1A State Championship Game promises to be a fantastic start to a day that will serve as a basketball extravaganza in our state.     

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