The Van-Far 7th and 8th grade boys basketball teams have experienced early season success after battling Clopton and Bowling Green last week.
The 7th grade Indians shut out the Hawks 7-0 in the first quarter and led 28-11 at halftime. Van-Far kept their foot down on the accelerator in the second half as they outscored Clopton 20-7 in the 48-28 victory.
“We had a big second quarter as we scored 21 points,” said Van-Far head JH basketball coach Joe Basinger. “We had about a two minute stretch where I don’t know if Clopton got the ball past half court…For a first game, I thought the kids came out and responded well.”
Rylee Hanson led the Indians with 14 points while both Sam Middleton and Colin Wilburn scored nine points. Trever Lower had eight points. Verdell Johnson scored six points and Isaac Smith had two points.
The 8th grade boys basketball team jumped out to a quick 20-2 first quarter lead with the help of their press. Van-Far led 36-4 at halftime, 52-6 at the end of the third quarter, and won the game 54-10.
“The kids were excited to get going,” Basinger said. “…It was one of those nights where the kids gave extremely hard effort on defense. We made it difficult for Clopton to handle the ball. A lot of our offense came off our defense. It was pretty cool to see a Junior High team play with that level of intensity and that high level of effort.”
Basinger noted one play when the Indians were up 35 points where Logan Wilson ran down a loose ball and gave extra effort.
Basinger said he was thankful for the support of the home crowd and band director Alex Cucciarre, who played a variety of music.
The Indians had three players score in double figures.
Trey Miller scored 19 points, Logan Wilson had 14 points, Treyson Culwell scored 11 points, Caden Wilburn had six points, while both Riley Culwell and Dillion Minor scored two points.
On Thursday, the 7th grade Indians ran into a tough Bowling Green squad and lost 37-26.
The Bobcats led 22-12 at halftime before holding on late for the 11-point win.
Basinger said he knew the Bobcats had a solid team and told his players that they would have to execute well on offense.
Unfortunately, the Indians struggled with the ball and executing on the offensive end.
The Indians did cut the lead to eight points in the fourth before falling late.
“The kids gave a great effort,” Basinger added. “They played hard to the end.”
The 8th grade Indians jumped out on the rival Bobcats with a 17-1 first quarter lead as they started with a 13-0 run.
Van-Far took a 29-11 halftime edge before cruising to a 49-15 victory.
“It was an intense game,” Basinger said. “…Those kids come out of the gate and play so hard, with so much effort and intensity, which makes it difficult for the other team…When you jump out to a 16-point lead in the first quarter, they are really fun to watch.”
Miller scored 14 points and Wilburn added 13 points. Minor scored eight points, Culwell had five points, Wilson scored four points, and Riley Culwell added two points.
Basinger points to the effort his players put in the offeseason as a key to their successful start.
“These kids see the benefits of it right now,” he added. “They are seeing the result of their hard work. It’s rewarding to see the kids hard work pay off.”