Just three weeks before the Class 2, District 5 girls basketball tournament, Van-Far head coach Blake Logan was looking forward to his Lady Indians picking up a big victory for some momentum heading into the postseason.
His team responded last Tuesday night by avenging a December loss to Silex 47-46 on the Lady Indians’ home court. The win came over a Lady Owls team that received the No. 2 seed in districts at the seed meeting over the weekend while Van-Far received the No. 6 seed.
“It was a great win for us,” Logan said.
The game had a fast tempo in the first half as the Lady Indians stunned Silex to take a 20-14 first quarter lead.
Unfortunately, the Lady Owls’ Natalie Fleming helped Silex rally to open up a double-digit lead in the second quarter. Silex took advantage of Van-Far’s Kasey Gatson picking up three first half fouls before the Lady Indians managed to tie the game at 30 heading into halftime.
“Both teams started off attacking the basket offensively,” Logan said. “…We competed each possession throughout the game even when we got behind.”
Van-Far slowed down the pace in the second half and managed to battle through an array of Silex defenses. The Lady Indians led by one at the end of the third quarter before holding on late for the one point victory. Gatson was 8-for-8 from the free throw line and made two big free throws late to help the Lady Indians get the win.
“The play that sticks out to me as the game-changer was when MaKenzie (Wallace) drove baseline and found Jenise (Johnson) for a big layup under the basket,” Logan said. “(MaKenzie) is playing with a lot of confidence lately and it is showing in our team’s recent success. Jenise also played well offensively converting her easy looks when they presented themselves.”
Gatson scored a team-high 23 points and eight assists while Jenise Johnson added 12 points and six rebounds. Jessie Fowler scored seven points, Wallace had four points, and Abilene Gatson added one point.
The Lady Indians finished the week with a tough 51-28 loss to Bowling Green.
Van-Far led 12-10 at the end of the first quarter before the Lady Bobcats outscored the Lady Indians 41-16 in the final three quarters to hold on for the 23-point victory.
“We came out with intensity from the beginning and had a 12-10 lead at the end of the first,” Logan said. “We didn’t close out on their shooters or box out in the second quarter and they jumped on top…We were forced to crash down and help which also left shooters open. Bowling Green is a very tall and long team, which makes their 3-2 zone very effective. We were unable to get things going offensively and got very stagnant at times.”
Gatson scored seven points, both Fowler and Jenise Johnson added six points, Brooke Johnson scored five points, while Wallace had four points.