The Van-Far Indians are starting to hit a stride at the most important time of the year with districts beginning next week.
The boys basketball team picked up two more wins last week to move their record to 16-6 overall and 7-1 in the EMO Conference.
Against Wellsville-Middletown, a large crowd was buzzing as the state championship team from 2017-2018 was recognized. There was also a junior cheerleaders clinic and a talented Tigers team visiting Van-Far’s gym.
Fortunately, the Indians shot 55 percent from the field, making 35-of-64 shots in an 83-58 victory.
Caden’s Wilburn’s solid three-point shooting in the first half helped the Indians go up 41-21 at halftime.
The Indians held off Wellsville’s 37 second-half points to still pick up a 25-point win. Van-Far outrebounded the Tigers 40-26.
“In the first half, we came out fast and really took advantage of our size,” said Van-Far head coach Pat Connaway. “We pounded the ball inside and pounded the glass. Wellsville is a very young team with a lot of good guards, but they just didn’t have the size that we did.”
Trey Miller led the Indians with 25 points and six rebounds; Verlyn Johnson had 14 points and 10 rebounds; Caden Wilburn scored 11 points; Dillion Minor had eight points and five rebounds; Sam Middleton had six points; Verdell Johnson added five points, eight assists, and six rebounds; Treyson Culwell scored five points; Mel Troy had three points; while Riley Culwell, Rylee Hanson, and Aidan Lowrance each had two points.
On Courtwarming Night, the Indians hosted MMA, a team featuring talented post players as only one starter is under 6’3”.
While MMA won the battle in the paint 44-40, the Indians outrebounded the Colonels 37-25 in their 61-53 win.
“I was really pleased with the pace of play and how well we rebounded against them,” Connaway said.
Van-Far led by one point at halftime in spite of MMA shooting 67 percent from the field.
The Indians took over the game in the third quarter, outscoring MMA 23-12 as the Colonels began to get into foul trouble.
“Trey and Verlyn were really active on the offensive end and the boards, and Caden hit a couple big 3’s to expand the lead,” Connaway said. “…I was really pleased with our total game tonight. We locked down defensively, executed the offense, boarded well, and knocked down over 70 percent of our free throws.”
Miller led Van-Far with 28 points and 10 rebounds while Verlyn Johnson also had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Caden Wilburn had 12 points; Treyson Culwell had three points; and Verdell Johnson had two points and six rebounds.