Van-Far head boys basketball coach Pat Connaway expected his young Indians to take a while to put things together during the 2014-2015 season.
Every championship team needs to develop chemistry and that is what Van-Far’s players began working on in a pair of double-digit losses to open their season.
On December 2, the Indians traveled to South Callaway and left with a 73-44 loss at the hands of the Bulldogs.
South Callaway, led by several football players who competed in the state championship game just two days earlier, jumped out to a 29-9 first quarter lead and never looked back.
South Callaway’s post players and a perimeter game with eight 3-pointers helped the Bulldogs to the 29-point win.
Van-Far did win the fourth quarter 14-6.
“Defensively, we couldn’t man them and they punished us inside and one the boards,” Connaway said. “They were bigger than us, stronger than us, more physical than us.”
Van-Far’s offense struggled as they missed nearly 10 shots at “point blank” range.
Van-Far’s freshmen combined for 33% of the team’s total offense and logged several minutes.
“We know we are going to have our ups and downs this year until we find some chemistry and we find out what our rotations are going to be,” Connaway said. “In the meantime until we figure all that out, we need to really tighten up our defense.”
Lucas Robinson scored a team-high 10 points with six rebounds. Wyatt McDowell and Nick Barnes each had seven points and four rebounds while Sharrod Connor also scored seven points. Lathyn McMorris and Josh Hodde each scored five points while Parker Wallace had three points.
Two nights later, the Indians only scored more than 10 points once in a quarter as they lost at Marion County, 52-37.
Van-Far scored just 14 points in the first half.
Foul trouble forced the Indians to abandon their man-to-man defense, though they did play strong with the zone to keep them within striking distance.
Connaway said he wants to see his offense to move the ball better and to value each possession while doing a better job on the offensive boards.
Van-Far was outrebounded 43-19 while Marion County won the second chance battle, 17-0.
Van-Far only had seven turnovers in the loss.
McMorris scored 10 points, Barnes had 10 points and four rebounds, while Robinson added nine points and six rebounds. Hodde scored four points, McDowell scored two points, and Connor tallied two points and four rebounds.