The Indians had a 7-0 run to start the game against Bowling Green in front of a large crowd and fed off their energy in a 59-44 win last Friday night over their rival.
“The boys really feed off of our crowd and tonight we had great support all night,” said Van-Far head coach Pat Connaway.
“We really struggled after the initial start getting good looks against their defense and we really weren’t ready to shoot the ball when we were open. We really wanted to attack the rim and work from the inside out.”
Van-Far led by just four points at the end of the first quarter before the Bobcats hit a 3-pointer at the end of halftime for a one-point lead at the break.
“In the locker room, we focused on our defense and talked about recommitting to the defensive end and allowing our defense to create our offense,” Connaway said.
The Indians’ defense locked down the Bobcats in the second half holding them to just 13 points.
Their lead was six heading into the fourth quarter when Trey Miller hit a big 3-pointer late to push the lead into double digits.
Van-Far’s offense then played a game of keep away, stalling to hold the ball for 1:40 before Josh Hodde hit a 3-pointer.
The Indians made 6-of-7 free throws to seal the win.
Hodde led the Indians with 22 points as he made 13-of-14 free throws. He also had four rebounds and four assists.
Miller added 15 points; Caden Wilburn had 10 points, six rebounds, and three assists; Brayden Christian tallied five points, eight rebounds, and three assists; Verlyn Johnson had four points and four rebounds; Treyson Culwell scored two points and seven rebounds; and Colin Wilburn had one point and five assists.
Three nights earlier, the Indians were without Coach Connaway, who was on a work trip.
Fortunately, assistant coach Brett Reading was able to coach Van-Far, who struggled offensively, to a 49-41 win over South Shelby on the road.
The Indians made just 2-of-20 3-point shots in the win.
Foul trouble and an eye injury suffered by Christian forced the Indians’ bench players to come up in a big way.
Van-Far’s defense struggled in the first half to get stops while the offense was unable to handle South Shelby’s pressure, leading the Indians to have just a 27-26 halftime lead.
The offense still struggled against South Shelby’s man defense in the second half but they managed to outscore them 15-7 in the third quarter before holding on for the eight-point win.
“Our ‘D’ won the game for us,” Connaway said. “We only gave up 15 points the entire second half.”
Hodde led the Indians with 14 points, three rebounds, and three assists while Christian tallied 10 points and five rebounds.
Miller had 10 points, nine rebounds, and two assists; Colin Wilburn tallied nine points, six rebounds, and four assists; Caden Wilburn had two points and three rebounds; Colten Jensen scored two points and three rebounds; and Johnson tallied two points and three rebounds.
On Monday, Van-Far’s boys basketball team traveled to Elsberry just two days after winning the Madison Tournament.
Unfortunately, they ran into a tough Elsberry squad and lost, 59-49, dropping their first EMO Conference game of the season.
Van-Far once again had poor perimeter shooting as they made just 4-of-20 3-point shots in the loss.
The Indians were outscored 19-7 in the second quarter to trail Elsberry by 12 at halftime. Elsberry made five 3-pointers in the first half.
Van-Far’s defense held Elsberry to just five second-half field goals. They unfortunately had to foul late and Elsberry took advance.
Van-Far did cut the lead to down to five but that was the closest they would get late.
Hodde led Van-Far with 24 points, nine rebounds, and three assists in the loss. Miller added 10 points and eight rebounds; Caden Wilburn had nine points, eight rebounds, and three assists; and Christian had six points, five rebounds, and three assists.