What a historic week for the Van-Far boys basketball team. The Indians had two players hit the 1,000 career-point mark, they picked up two EMO Conference wins, and finished things off by setting themselves a part as perhaps the best program in Audrain County with a win over a much larger school in Mexico.
The Indians finished their busy week of four games in five days by knocking off the host Mexico Bulldogs 78-61 in the Gary Filbert Classic in Mexico.
After watching the Lady Indians knock off Mexico, the boys fed off that energy and ran the floor while getting physical with the Bulldogs in the post.
Up by just three points at the end of the first quarter, the Indians outscored Mexico 24-8 before halftime to take control of the game with a 42-23 lead.
Lathyn McMorris scored 28 of his game-high 32 points in the first half.
The Indians pushed their lead to 25 in the fourth quarter but ankle injuries suffered by Josh Hodde and McMorris helped Mexico make a late run with a 30-22 fourth quarter. Van-Far still won the game though, 78-61.
“A 17 point win on the road is always good, but when it comes against a 4A school that has some big wins against good teams this year makes it a little more special,” said Van-Far head coach Pat Connaway.
The Indians made 28-of-32 free throws in the win.
McMorris finished with 32 points and five rebounds; Hodde had 14 points, seven assists, and six rebounds; Trey Miller added a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds; Caden Wilburn had eight points, six rebounds, and five assists; Colin Wilburn chipped in six points and four rebounds; Christian had four points and 11 rebounds; Treyson Culwell had four rebounds; and Verlyn Johnson had two rebounds.
Another big win came on Tuesday night when the Indians defeated North Callaway, 71-55.
Van-Far led 43-34 at halftime before holding off the Thunderbirds in the second half for the big 16-point win.
McMorris’ 3-pointer sealed the game in the fourth quarter and also put him over the 1,000 career-point mark.
“We had a good crowd and the boys performed really well,” said Connaway as his team improved to 3-0 in the EMO Conference with two EMO wins this week.
McMorris had 23 points, four rebounds, and four assists; Hodde added 17 points, eight rebounds, and six assists; Miller had 13 points and nine rebounds; Christian scored nine points and nine rebounds; Caden Wilburn had six points, seven rebounds, and six assists; and Treyson Culwell added three points and 11 rebounds.
On Thursday night, the Indians set the tone early with fast tempo and Silex never recovered.
Van-Far jumped out to a 24-3 first quarter lead before outscoring the Owls 41-36 the rest of the way in a 65-39 win.
With three seconds left in the first half, Hodde scored a basket to give him his 1,000th career point.
“We got all the kids some significant minutes, which was nice to be able to do,” Connaway said.
Hodde led the Indians with 24 points and eight rebounds; McMorris had 12 points and five rebounds; Christian had eight points and eight rebounds; Miller chipped in six points and 12 rebounds; while Rylee Hanson, Heath Calvert, Treyson Culwell, and Riley Culwell each added three points.
The Indians first loss of the year came Friday night as a tired group lost to Monroe City, 60-46.
“We looked tired and looked like our feet were in concrete,” Connaway said.
An athletic Monroe City team led 28-20 at halftime before holding on for a 60-46 win.
Hodde had 16 points and seven rebounds; McMorris added 16 points and five rebounds; Miller had seven points and six rebounds; Christian tallied six points and nine rebounds; Treyson Culwell had one point and six rebounds; and Caden Wilburn had five rebounds.