With a double-digit victory over Silex just weeks earlier, the Van-Far Indians basketball team had high expectations in its first round district game last Tuesday on their home court.
Unfortunately, the Indians offense struggled and never found its rhythm in a 50-37 loss to the Owls.
Van-Far missed their first 18 shots from the field, made 5-of-31 in the first half, and 12-of-62 in the game. The Indians also made just 3-of-30 3-point attempts.
Van-Far’s lone senior Ryan Teague took the sixth most 3-point attempts in a game in state history with 19 and made three of them. Teague did have six rebounds, two steals, and two assists in his final game.
“It was and is still difficult to swallow,” said Van-Far head coach Pat Connaway. “We did everything right and dominated every aspect of the game except for field goal percentage. We got off 31 more shots than them, had 19 or 20 offensive rebounds and committed only nine turnovers. This was one of our best all-around games of the year with the exception of shooting the basketball. We couldn’t throw it in the ocean tonight. I give Silex credit, they really packed it in tonight and tried to neutralize Brian and Ryan. They wanted us to shoot the ball from the outside and literally gave us wide open shots. I’m not sure if we were nervous or what, but we just couldn’t knock down shots.”
Silex took control of the game early when Van-Far missed its first five shots and all 18 in the first quarter. The Owls nailed three 3-pointers to take an 11-3 lead.
Silex put together a 7-0 run in the second quarter to open up a 24-9 lead before the Indians closed the gap to nine points at halftime. Both Ethan Gooch and Teague scored four points in the quarter.
The Indians made a 7-0 run in the third quarter behind the first of two Teague 3-pointers to cut the lead to five points.
The Owls turned the ball over four times during the run.
Brian Kurz scored a basket with 1:02 remaining in the game to get a double-digit lead back to under 10 points but the Owls put the game away at the free throw line, making 10-of-14 shots.
Silex made 16-of-31 shots from the field in spite of turning the ball over 20 times in the win.
Ethan Gooch finished with 10 points, six steals, four rebounds, and three assists while Ryan Nelson had 12 points, nine rebounds, and one steal. Brian Kurz scored seven points, seven rebounds, and one assist; Alex Culver had four rebounds; Kyle Decker had two rebounds and one steal; and Logan Boyd had one assist.
For Teague, he was the lone senior on the team.
“Ryan will be missed for several reasons: He was one of our primary ball handlers and outside shooters, so someone will have to step in and fill that void,” Connaway said.
“RT also was a good leader in the locker room and really worked hard while he was on the floor. Ryan is to be commended for his four years of dedication to our program. Ryan will be missed and Coach Reading and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”