Van-Far head boys basketball coach Pat Connaway was hoping his team would leave nearby Bowling Green last week with a tournament trophy. Unfortunately, the Indians were unable to pick up a win after dropping tough games to both Clopton and North Callaway.
In the opening round, Van-Far’s offense struggled and scored more than 10 points in just one quarter in a 62-40 loss to Clopton. Clopton’s post players combined for 30 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks scored 34 points in the paint.
“Their wide bodies really shoved us around and beat us up inside,” Connaway said. “…We have got to do a better job of keeping the opposition’s ‘bigs’ out of the lane…Tonight our effort was there but they physically were too strong for us.”
Van-Far trailed 27-14 at halftime and made a run at Clopton in the third quarter to cut a 19-point lead to eight.
Once the Indians made their run, Clopton responded by outscoring Van-Far 21-9 in the fourth to seal the 22-point victory. The Indians only took 36 shots from the field and had just five free throws.
“We need to start attacking the rim and we need to start getting to the foul line,” Connaway said.
Van-Far was outrebounded 32-15 while Clopton’s bench outscored the Indians’ bench 22-4.
Nick Barnes had 24 points, Lathyn McMorris had five points, Parker Wallace added four points, Wyatt McDowell tallied three points and five rebound, while both Lucas Robinson and Josh Hodde had two points.
In the consolation semifinals, North Callaway avenged a loss from earlier in the season with a 57-51 victory.
The Indians led 19-16 at the end of the first quarter after getting some easy baskets when attacking the rim while beating the Thunderbirds in the transition game.
North Callaway responded with a 1-2-2 defense and caused Van-Far problems in the second quarter to outscore the Indians 18-12 for a 34-27 halftime edge.
Connaway said Sharrod Connor did a nice job in the half of attacking the rim, which applied pressure on North Callaway and caused them to drop out of the press.
The Indians’ offense went cold in the third quarter as they missed just 2-of-17 shots from the field.
Van-Far trailed by seven points heading into the fourth quarter. They were down two points with just under a minute remaining.
North Callaway hit two free throws to push the lead to four points with :19 seconds left.
Van-Far then missed an open 3-pointer and three offensive put backs in the six point loss.
Barnes, McMorris, and Hodde combined to go 2-for-19 from 3-point range.
“I liked the way we tried to push the tempo and attacked,” Connaway said.
Van-Far did have 16 points off turnovers.
Barnes had 16 points and seven rebounds while McDowell added 12 points. Connor scored 11 points; Hodde had eight points; McMorris scored three points; and Robinson had one point and seven rebounds.