Several Van-Far boys basketball players wrapped up another competitive Summer by competing in an event filled with a lot of talent at Kansas State University.
The Indians made the most of their third straight year playing in Manhattan, Kan. by ending the successful weekend with a 7-1 record.
Van-Far’s varsity squad picked up a 61-20 win playing on the main court at Bramiage Coliseum.
“It’s is an awesome experience for the kids to get to warm up, shoot 3’s, and dunk on the college floor and to be watched by Coach Bruce Webber,” said Van-Far head coach Pat Connaway.
Connaway said the kids had a blast during their big win.
In bracket play, the varsity struggled in the semifinal game against a very athletic and very skilled team from Iowa.
Van-Far’s shooters went ice cold but were down just four with :29 seconds left. Josh Hodde made a quick basket then missed a free throw. Caden Wilburn hit a late 3-pointer with a few seconds remaining to give Van-Far the one point win.
Van-Far was 5-0 in pool play and ended with seven wins overall.
“It was very exciting and the team really came together as a unit,” Connaway said.
After the excitement of the big win, a short 10 minute break wasn’t enough to get ready for the championship game.
In playing four games in five hours, the Indians ran out of gas and lost the title game.
“It was a great weekend of basketball,” Connaway said. “Lathyn shot the ball extremely well and just made everyone else on the team better. Josh was a play maker setting up teammates as well as himself and his defense was amazing. Trey was a monster at times and just took some games over and is really starting to figure things out becoming a complete player. Brayden played extremely well and Caden made big strides and should have all the confidence in the world heading into the season. Colten played very well off the bench as did Colin, Verlyn, and Riley Culwell.”
The JV had a solid weekend before running into a Class 6 JV team in Kansas. The JV was 5-0 in pool play and went 6-1 over the two days.
“These kids played hard and (were) competing every game,” Connaway said.
Before the trip to Kansas, the Indians had a busy Summer.
On June 10, the Indians beat Sweet Springs, Mid-Buchanan, and Fayette at an event held at Central Methodist University.
Six days later, the Indians went to the Paradise Classic. They beat Otterville and Hallsville but lost by four without Hodde to Eugene.
In the Van-Far Shootout, the Indians beat Louisiana, Mexico, and Battle.
Van-Far’s JV in the JV Shootout beat Mexico and Louisiana before losing to Battle by just two points. They ended their Summer with an 8-2 record.
On June 30, the Indians went to Palmyra and beat Canton, West Hancock, and Palmyra to finish their Summer 18-2 overall.
“I think the kids know if we put in the hard work, we have a chance to be really good this year,” Connaway said. “I’m really pleased with the work and effort the kids put in and am extremely exited for this upcoming season…And if we do things right and get after it defensively, we have a chance to be one of the best teams in the area.”