In a very competitive home opener, the Van-Far boys basketball team traded baskets with South Callaway for mostly three quarters before falling late 64-47.
“All in all I was pleased with our effort and we played much better than we did against Mark Twain,” said Van-Far head coach Pat Connaway. “We must be able to stay out of foul trouble and must be able to rebound better. Our overall conditioning needs to get better also and since we have 13 days in between games we will be working a lot on that. This is two games now this year where we have been in close games in the 4th quarter and haven’t been able to finish. Our defense must also get a lot better if we want to start winning ball games. We did a lot of good things tonight, but need to continue working hard to get better. If we keep improving from game to game like we have so far we will be a pretty good ball club at the end of the year. We are young and need to develop our bench more.”
Van-Far opened the game on a 4-0 run behind Wyatt McDowell’s 3-pointer. Nick Barnes scored 11 points in the first quarter, which ended on his 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Indians up 16-12.
The Indians had the lead in spite of early foul trouble. John Gerdeman picked up a second foul just 1:37 into the game while Kyle Decker picked up his second foul in the first 4:41.
Van-Far led 21-17 in the second quarter after Barnes’ second 3-pointer of the game.
South Callaway responded by closing the quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 28-24 lead into halftime.
“We came out very composed, confident, and relaxed,” Connaway said. “We handled their press very well. Our three guards did an excellent job the entire half, really the entire night, handling the basketball. We cut down our turnovers and were able to knock down some open shots. Unfortunately, we got ourselves into early foul trouble and were forced to go small and play most of the quarter and half with five guards. “
South Callaway’s center took advantage of Van-Far’s two big men being out of the lineup by scoring nine points in the second and 13 in the first half.
Barnes made two straight 3-pointers to start the third quarter with a 6-0 run to close the lead to one.
Unfortunately, South Callaway responded with a 6-0 run of their own and never looked back.
The Bulldogs outscored the Indians 17-7 in the fourth to seal the win.
Van-Far made 17-of-52 shots from the field and 7-of-11 free throws. The defense forced 16 turnovers though the Bulldogs made 25-of-48 shots from the field.
Barnes finished the game with 28 points, three rebounds, and three assists while McDowell tallied eight points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Sharrod Connor had four points, two rebounds, two assists, and one steal; Decker scored three points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block; Gerdeman had three points, two blocks, and one rebound; Lucas Robinson tallied two steals and two rebounds; and Woodrow Jackson had one point and two steals.