In spite of having two of their top scorers combining for just two points and six shots from the field in the first three quarters, the Community R-VI boys basketball team’s defense responded to shut down Van-Far’s big men in a 40-27 victory.
The Trojans’ defense forced the Indians to turn the ball over 25 times and make just 4-of-26 shots from the field in the first half alone.
They also focused in on stopping Van-Far’s Brian Kurz. Kurz missed his first 11 shots from the field and didn’t score until 5:44 left in the game. They also held freshman Nick Barnes to a lone 3-pointer late in the game after he too missed his first 11 shots through three quarters.
“We wanted to make sure every time (Kurz) put it on the deck, we had help on him,” said Community R-VI head coach Dave Smith.
“…It was two rivals that competed hard and fair.”
Van-Far head coach Pat Connaway told Smith after the game that the Trojans were the best defensive team they’ve seen all year.
“If you had told me that we held (Justin) Durham and (Sean) Wilson to 13 points combined, I’d say we win that game pretty easily,” Connaway said.
“The defense on both sides was excellent…We had a really tought time of getting in a break and in our transition…Their defense dictated tempo and they pushed us out.”
The Trojans’ Clay Thebeau provided the lone offense for Community R-VI in the first quarter as he scored all eight of the team’s points for an 8-6 lead.
Community R-VI began to pull away in the second quarter after Van-Far missed their first eight shots. The Trojans answered with a 10-0 run behind Lane Thebeau’s four of his quarter-high six points.
Kyle Decker’s late basket kept the Trojans’ lead at 18-10 entering halftime.
Both teams struggled in the third quarter combining to make just 6-of-19 shots from the field while turning the ball over 10 times as the Trojans entered the fourth up 24-16.
Van-Far’s defense through three quarters had shut down the Trojans’ Durham and Wilson.
Both combined for just two points and six shots from the field.
They responded in the fourth however as they made back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead to nine.
“I said somebody has to make a shot and we outscored them 16-11 and I think that was the difference in the game,” Smith said.
Clay Thebeau finished with a team-high 12 points, six rebounds, and four steals; Conner Brooks had three points, one assists, and one block; Lane Thebeau added eight points, three rebounds, three assists, and one steal; Wilson had six points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal; Durham tallied seven points, four rebounds, three blocks, one steal, and one assist; Cameron Foreman had two points, two rebounds, and one assist; Kaleb Harris had two points and one rebound; Keith Caldwell had one rebound; and Tyler Mays had three rebounds.
Ethan Gooch led Van-Far with 12 points, seven rebounds, two steals, and one assist; Barnes had three points, four rebounds, three steals, and one assist; Cody Stubblefield had three steals, two rebounds, and one assist; Ryan Nelson tallied five points, 10 rebounds, and one steal; Kurz had two points, 12 rebounds, one block, and two assists; Decker had two points and one rebound; John Gerdeman had three points; and Woodrow Jackson had one rebound.
Beats Wright City
The Community R-VI boys basketball squad earned a 54-22 road win over Wright City on December 11.
The Trojans were up 14-3 against Wright City in the first quarter and ended the half up 28-10. Community R-VI posted 19 points in the third quarter and closed the contest up 7-6 for a 32-point victory.
“It was a nice team win,” Smith said. “We had a nice run to start the game and in the third quarter.”
Lane Thebeau scored 11 points; Clay Thebeau posted nine points at 3-for-3 from the line with three assists; Connor Brooks tallied eight points and was 2-for-2 from the line; and Justin Durham added seven points for the Trojans.
“I’m concerned about some careless turnovers but it’s always good to go on the road and win a conference game,” Smith said.
Knocks off Monroe City
The Trojans’ depth prevailed again with a December 13 win over Monroe City.
Community R-VI was up 16-10 by the end of the first quarter and led 26-19 by halftime. The Trojans posted 16 points in the third quarter and closed the contest with a 52-33 victory.
“It was a good team win against a quality opponent,” Smith said.
“We played well from start to finish, especially on the defensive end. We are getting better every day and that is our goal.”
Wilson scored 15 points with five rebounds and five steals; Lane Thebeau posted eight points; Durham had six points, three rebounds, and four assists; Clay Thebeau also tallied six points with four steals and four assists; and Foreman and Harris each added four points.
Harris had four rebounds.