INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Barr-Reeve Vikings didn’t see Ryan Fazekas as much of a threat.
Turns out they were wrong — big Time.
The Marquette Catholic Blazers’ 6-foot-8 junior forward had 34 points, 10 rebounds and set a Class A record with seven 3-pointers to lead the Blazers to a 70-66 overtime victory Saturday over the Vikings in the Class A state championship.
Fazekas said after his performance that he just entered “a shooting zone.”
“I don’t even know how to explain it. I came out and had no nerves for the first time this season. It worked,” he said.
Barr-Reeve’s Duncan Roy tied the game at 62 on a lay-up with 1:12 left in regulation before the Blazers opened overtime scoring four straight on baskets by Malcolm Reed and Fazekas.
Later, Fazekas grabbed a steal and Braxton Miller scored on a breakaway lay-up with 5.9 seconds left to give the Blazers a 68-64 lead.
Richie Mitchell had 10 points and JoVonte Peals scored nine for the Blazers (20-6), who made their first state finals appearance.
Addison Wagler had 25 points and Micah Bullock added 23 for the Vikings (26-2), who have finished runner-up in each of program’s four state finals appearances.
Fazekas did most of his damage early on. He scored 14 points and four 3-pointers in just the first quarter. Fazekas then made back-to-back 3′s, including one with 1:54 left in the opening quarter to give the Blazers a 17-9 lead.
Fazekas, who made a verbal commitment last fall to play college basketball at Providence, entered the game shooting just 27 percent from 3-point range.
A record game wasn’t what Vikings coach Bryan Hughes expected out of Fazekas.
“We were going to allow him to put up some 3′s, we wanted to make sure we stayed in front of him,” he said. “It’s the first time I’ve seen him in person. He’s an even better player than he is on film.”
Besides breaking the record for 3-pointers, Fazekas became the first player since the 2009 state finals to finish with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.
The Blazers took a 10-point lead early in the second half when they went on a 10-run, but the Vikings closed out the quarter on an 18-1 run and then built a 10-point advantage early in the fourth quarter.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty,” Blazers coach Donovan Garletts said. “I have absolutely no idea how we came back from a 10-point deficit to a team like Barr-Reeve.”
The Vikings entered the game the best defensive team in the state, holding teams to 39.9 points a game.
The Blazers won their first ever regional and semi-state before landing in the finals, but the Vikings made appearances in the championship game in 2002, 2007 and 2010.
“I’m very humbled to have had this opportunity for the fourth time,” Hughes said. “But it’s very disheartening to not get the job done.”