Winning always makes things better. This is what the Van-Far boys basketball team experienced last week after putting together a two-game winning streak.
The Indians beat both Wellsville and MMA by 15 points in a pair of impressive victories.
“It was a very good week for us and we need to keep this momentum going,” said Van-Far head boys basketball coach Pat Connaway.
In the win on Courtwarming Night against MMA, the Indians’ full court man defense gave MMA trouble as Van-Far forced several turnovers.
In spite of being without Josh Hodde and Wyatt McDowell due to sickness, the Indians gained big minutes from Lathyn McMorris, Trenton DeTienne, and Cameron Perkins.
Nick Barnes scored 22 of his game-high 28 points in the first half to give the Indians a 41-26 halftime lead. Van-Far’s 41 points in the half was a season high.
Van-Far outscored the Colonels 36-29 in the second half for the 77-52 win.
“We have several kids that can score and when we are moving and sharing the basketball, we are hard to defend,” Connaway said. “You can’t just leave any of our kids because they all can shoot it.”
Barnes finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds while Hodde had 10 points.
Lucas Robinson scored nine points and five rebounds; McMorris had eight points; Sharrod Connor had seven points and six rebounds; DeTienne had six points and seven rebounds; Perkins scored five points; while both Brayden Christian and Parker Wallace scored two points.
Van-Far was 8-for-24 from 3-point range and won the rebounding battle, 38-25.
The Indians also made 19-of-27 free throws. The defense forced 24 turnovers.
“I thought Trenton and Cameron both played their best games of the year,” Connaway said. “Trenton was very aggressive and that is what we have to have from him night in and night out.”
Earlier in the week, the Indians won a home game against Wellsville, 69-54.
The Indians held a slim three point lead at the end of the first quarter before pushing ahead by 11 points at halftime.
Van-Far outscored the Tigers 14-10 in the fourth quarter to hold on for the 15-point victory.
“It was nice to play well in front of a big home crowd,” Connaway said. “I think the kids fed off our fans energy. The student section has done a great job of supporting us…I thought we moved the ball very well and shared the basketball tonight. Our ball movement is getting better and we are starting to figure out what everybody is doing and where they are going to be.”
Connaway added that he was proud of how his team held one of the Tigers best scorers to just 3-of-10 shooting from the field.
Barnes scored 19 points and five rebounds while Robinson had 13 points and five rebounds. McMorris scored 13 points; Hodde and McDowell each scored nine points; and Connor had six points and five rebounds.
“Tonight was the first night all year that we have combine to shoot over 50%, win the rebound battle (30-28), and win the battle of points in the paint (28-24),” Connaway said.