FORT WAYNE – Oftentimes teams can develop a postseason rivalry, but it usually comes at the sectional or regional level because to create a sports contention, the two teams have to meet more than a couple of times.
That’s what makes top-ranked Canterbury and No. 4 Vincennes Rivet matching up again unique.
The two programs, arguably the two best Class A programs in the state over the last decade, will be playing for the state championship Saturday at Indiana State University in Terre Haute.
It will mark the third time in the last four years the two have met for the right to hold up the bigger trophy at the end.
Canterbury has won four state titles in the last five years, with the 2009 and 2010 championships being won at the expense of Rivet.
After Saturday, because the Patriots won the 2011 state championship, the two teams will have combined to win the last six state championships.
There is a rivalry that has definitely developed, Canterbury coach Wayne Kreiger said.
Kreiger wasn’t on the team’s staff the last time the Cavs and Pats faced off in a state title game, but he was in attendance because his son Scott was the head coach at the time.
Coach (Wayne Kreiger) has seen them plenty of times in the past, and I feel like that is going to be good for us, sophomore Darby Maggard said. Canterbury has played them in the past, and I think that could be a definite advantage for us because we have seen the program before.
In 2011, the Cavaliers’ run at four straight state titles was broken in the semistate with a loss to Turkey Run. One week later, Rivet beat Turkey Run for the state championship at Memorial Coliseum.
Canterbury senior Bailey Farley is the lone player on the Cavs’ roster who played against Rivet the last time the two teams met in 2010.
The year that we lost in semistate, we went to the state finals in Fort Wayne (to watch the game), Farley said. We are just a little bit bitter for that experience because they won the state championship that year (2011), and we felt like we could have.
Wayne Kreiger said this year’s Rivet team is much like the teams of the past with solid defensive fundamentals, outstanding shooters and great ballhandlers.
Again, the team doesn’t have a lot of height, but that hasn’t slowed the Patriots down en route to another state run.
They have tendencies, so we will look at those, Kreiger said. We will take the tendencies they have and build on those.
A balanced Rivet team has four players who average at least 10 points per game in Allyson Wehrheim (10.9), Bailey Dreiman (10.7), Kelsey Ivers (10.6) and Lauren Herman (10.2). As a team, the Patriots average 58 points.
Canterbury, which leads the state at 71 points per game, is looking for a faster-paced game with four double-figure scorers as well with Kindell Fincher (18.7), Farley (18.1), Maggard (17.8) and Aaliyah Gaines (11.7).
Katherine Smith is averaging 10.4 points but in only five games.