The Van-Far boys basketball team was coming off a deflating loss to Community R-VI and were looking for encouragement with a tough, road contest against North Callaway.
Van-Far responded in a big way by rallying from 18 points down to stun the Thunderbirds in double overtime, 81-74.
“This was a remarkable win for the boys,” said Van-Far head boys basketball coach Pat Connaway. “They never gave up. We weren’t really playing very well but we found a way to get it going and grind out a huge win.”
Both teams were tied at 11 at the end of the first quarter.
The Thunderbirds began to pull away in the second quarter and took an eight point lead into halftime.
North Callaway went up 18 when Wyatt McDowell and Nick Barnes each made big 3-pointers.
Down 12 in the fourth quarter, the Indians kept chipping at the lead until Sharrod Connor scored with 1.4 seconds left in the game to tie things at 60.
In overtime, the Indians made big defensive plays leading to five quick points.
With the game tied at 13 seconds left in the overtime session, Van-Far had a decent look but that session ended with a tie.
In double overtime, foul trouble caught up with North Callaway as they had three players foul out.
Van-Far took advantage by making key free throws down the stretch and making 22-of-34 in the 81-74 win.
“I was really proud I of the defensive effort the kids displayed in the fourth quarter and in the overtime,” Connaway said.
“We gave up 53 points in the first 24 minutes of action and only gave up 21 in the final 16 minutes of play.”
Barnes scored a team-high 23 points and eight rebounds while Connor had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Josh Hodde scored 13 points, McDowell had nine points, Lucas Robinson had eight points and seven rebounds, while Lathyn McMorris scored eight points.
The Indians nearly picked up another victory on Friday night when they hosted Monroe City.
The Panthers appeared ready for an easy win early when they took an 11-point lead, going up 18-7 in the first quarter.
Monroe City stretched its lead to 24-10 before the Indians cut the lead to eight at halftime.
“We told the boys the first four minutes of the third quarter would be key to us getting back into this game,” Connaway said.
His team responded by controlling the boards on both ends of the court and handling the Panthers’ pressure.
Van-Far outscored the Panthers 17-7 in the third.
No team had more than a four point lead in the fourth quarter.
With under a minute left in the game, McMorris hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 53 with :22 seconds left.
Monroe City responded with a basket in the paint with 5.6 seconds left on the clock. Barnes’ 25-footer bounced off the front of the rim at the buzzer in a 55-53 loss.
“It was a heart breaking loss after playing so hard and never giving up,” Connaway said. “I am very proud of the way the kids kept battling and fighting.”
Connaway said he was pleased with the performance of Hodde, DeTienne, and McMorris.
Barnes scored 16 points and six rebounds while Connor had 12 points and four rebounds.
Hodde added nine points, Robinson scored six points and six rebounds, DeTienne added five points and four rebounds, and McMorris scored five points.
Van-Far won the turnover battle 28-19 but they were outrebounded 35-23. Connaway has concern for his team in the paint. They gave up 80 of 97 points in the last two games in the paint.
The Indians led their game with the Owls early by four after Barnes hit two 3-pointers.
Silex responded with an 8-0 run and took a 12-10 lead of their own.
The Indians had a 5-0 run to regain the lead behind Hodde’s 3-pointer and Connor’s basket.
Silex rallied late and took a one point lead into halftime. The Owls compiled a 14-0 run through the early moments of the third quarter to begin pulling away as Van-Far had missed all nine of their shots from the field during the stretch.
Van-Far missed all 11 of their 3-point attempts in the fourth quarter and didn’t score their first field goal of the final frame until Hodde did so with 1:45 remaining as the Owls won 42-32.
Van-Far made just 15-of-51 shots from the field and were 4-of-27 from 3-point range in the loss.
“We went from hitting 10 3’s on Tuesday to shooting 4-for-27 from three tonight,” Connaway said.
“We lived and ultimately died from 3-point land tonight. We got a lot of great looks, but just couldn’t get anything to fall…It was a disappointing loss, it was the way we wanted to perform in our home opener.”
Connor had a near double-double with eight points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two steals while Barnes tallied eight points, two steals, two assists, and one rebound. Hodde had eight points; McMorris had two points, two blocks, one assist, and one steal; DeTienne had two points and two rebounds; Robinson had four points and seven rebounds; while McDowell tallied two steals, one assist, and one rebound.
The Van-Far Lady Indians basketball team dropped two tough games last week to North Callaway and Silex.
The Lady Indians led the game with the Lady Thunderbirds early with a 14-13 first quarter edge.
Unfortunately, North Callaway rallied and outcored Van-Far 44-25 in the final three quarters for the win.
“We started out the game really well,” said Van-Far head coach Kelly Orf. “I know the score doesn’t show it but we played a heck of a game. We played with heart, fight, and mental toughness. We never gave up and to Coach (Kylie) Epperson and myself, that is a win in our books any day.”
Abilene Gatson scored 12 points with five rebounds, two steals, and one block while Jayda Borgmeyer tallied 11 points, four rebounds, and two steals.
Renee Nelson had six points, 10 rebounds, one steal, and one assist; Alexis DeTienne had five points, four rebounds, one steals, and one assist; Hailey Hopke had two points and three rebounds; Kayelee Harrower had two points, three rebounds, and one assist; and Autumn Sutton had one point.
In their home opener against a solid Lady Owls team, Van-Far was set to make an upset run early.
Their defense held Silex to just five first quarter points while the Lady Indians took a 6-5 lead.
The Lady Owls took over from there however as eight turnovers and a technical foul led to a 12-0 run to give Silex a 15-6 lead.
Van-Far turned the ball over 15 times in the first half and made just 4-of-19 shots from the field.
Silex had an 8-0 run in the third quarter and took advantage of 20 second-half, Van-Far turnovers for a 53-21 win.
There were 56 turnovers in the game.
DeTienne led Van-Far with eight points, two steals, one rebound, and one assist while Gatson tallied six points, seven rebounds, five steals, two blocks, and two assists. Nelson had two points, nine rebounds, two steals, and one block; Borgmeyer added three points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals; Reaghan Case had one steal; and Harrower had two points and two rebounds.