Van-Far’s JV boys basketball team drew a tough first round match-up with the No. 2 seed Mark Twain Tigers in the first round of the Madison Tournament last Wednesday.
Though the seeding suggests the Tigers should have been able to easily put away young JV Indians’ squad, Van-Far’s players were up to the big challenge of playing for the first time in a varsity tournament.
After the Tigers jumped out to a 22-12 first quarter edge, the Indians JV squad rallied to cut the lead to just five points at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Indians JV squad took a two point lead with a minute left before the Tigers took over the game.
Mark Twain outscored Van-Far’s JV team by 10 in the fourth to win the game by 15.
The Tigers had a post player score 24 points, mostly just 4’ from the basket, in the win.
“I was proud of our effort and I think we gained confidence as the game went on,” said Van-Far head coach Pat Connaway. “…We made some young mistakes and they made us pay. It is a great learning lesson for the kids and we will bounce back and be better when we take the floor again after break. I think this team has a great shot of winning two games in this tournament still.”
Verlyn and Verdell Johnson each scored 13 points; Riley Culwell had nine points; Rylee Hanson added seven points; Sam MIddleton scored five points; both Trevor Lower and Preston Burnett had three points; and LaTrell Wright scored one point.
The JV team will now take on Cairo at 9 p.m. on Thursday, January 4 in the Consolation Semifinals.
A win will put them in the Consolation Championship game at 9 p.m. on Friday, January 5. A loss puts them in the seventh place game on the same night at 6 p.m.