Van-Far head boys basketball coach Pat Connaway knew it was only a matter of time for his Indians to put together four solid quarters to win their first game of the season. His team came through in the 7th place game in the Madison Invitational last week as the Indians crushed EMO Conference foe Wellsville 54-24 to finally get their first victory of the 2011-2012 season.
“We talked before the game about believing in yourself and believing in your teammates and tonight by far was the best team basketball we have played,” Connaway said. “We got the ball inside to the bigs and when they didn’t have anything they kicked the ball out to our guards. All around it was a very solid performance from all of our kids. Getting in the win column was huge, now hopefully the win will start building their confidence and they will start believing we can win ball games.”
The Indians started the game with a 16-5 first quarter lead and led 31-11 at halftime. Van-Far outscored Wellsville 23-13 in the second half before holding on for the 30-point victory.
Van-Far had just 12 turnovers and shot 63-percent from the line in the win as the Indians shot 34 free throws and were able to take advantage.
Ryan Nelson led Van-Far with 17 points while Brian Kurz scored 14 in just his third game back in the lineup. Both players finished with double-doubles as eight of Van-Far’s 11 players scored. Ryan Teague added six points; Dylan Hoover scored five points; both Logan Boyd and LaQuan Jackson had four points; Ethan Gooch scored three points; and Cody Stubblefield added one point.
“Ethan did a great job of handling the ball tonight and got it where it needed to be,” Connaway added.
One game earlier, the Indians trailed the host team Madison 35-22 at halftime and couldn’t complete a rally in a 71-54 loss.
“We came out a little flat, especially on the defensive side,” Connaway said. “Our 2-3 match-up zone wasn’t very good, we didn’t get to shooters and they made us pay. We switched to man-to-man, but didn’t fair much better. We didn’t stop ball penetration and we never in help defense and didn’t rotate very well. Madison was a lot quicker than we were and they beat us to every loose ball.”
Madison made eight 3-pointers in the victory while the Indians scored more than 34 points for the first time this season.
Kurz scored a team-high 17 points while Nelson had 11. Both players finished with double-doubles. Gooch scored 10 points and Boyd, in only his second start of the season, scored nine points.
“(Logan) played good defensively and hit the boards really well,” Connaway said.