Van-Far head girls basketball coach Blake Logan knew his team’s Consolation Championship game against Louisiana last week had district implications.
His Lady Indians responded to the challenge by crushing the Lady Bulldogs 54-9 to take 5th place in the Bowling Green Tournament.
“We had a lot of motivation going into the game against Louisiana,” Logan said. “We were playing against my alma mater as well as a district foe. Also, we were not happy about being seeded 8th in the tournament. I felt as thought we deserved a four or five seed but we were determined to prove our worth. The girls came into the game relaxed and focused. They were very patient on the offensive end and aggressive on the defensive end. We are improving as a collective group and I hope we continue to do so.”
In the victory, Kasey Gatson scored her 1,000th career point and finished the game with 33 points, eight rebounds, three steals, and one assist.
Five different players scored in the first quarter to help Van-Far to a 20-0 lead. Kasey Gatson scored nine points and Jenise Johnson added a basket near the buzzer.
Louisiana missed their first 14 shots before making their first basket with 3:09 remaining in the first half.
Van-Far’s defense forced Louisiana to make just 2-of-23 shots from the field in the first two quarters to take a 30-4 lead into halftime.
The Lady Indians’ defense continued to dominate in the third quarter as Louisiana missed all 11 of their shots and never could get anything going.
Gatson dominated the quarter with 14 points and MaKenzie Wallace added a basket to push the lead to 42 points.
The mercy rule was in effect for Van-Far in the fourth quarter as the Lady Indians’ reserves sealed the 45-point victory. Sarah Sutton hit the final basket at the buzzer for a Van-Far team that made 22-of-43 shots from the field and 9-of-12 free throws. Louisiana made just 4-of-39 shots from the field in the loss.
Brooke Johnson finished with six points, nine rebounds, one block, one assist, and one steal while Wallace added four points, two assists, and two steals. Jenise Johnson had three points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block; Jessie Fowler had two points, four rebounds, four assists, and one steal; Rachel Nelson had two points, three rebounds, and two assists; Haven Atkinson had two points and one steal; Sutton had two points, one rebound, and one steal; Kambrie Hartsell had one rebound and one assist; Jaselle Brookins had two rebounds; and Abigail Gatson had one assist.
Before taking fifth, the Lady Indians knocked off Mark Twain for the second time in one week, 42-27 in the consolation semifinals. Van-Far defeated Mark Twain in the Palmyra Tournament two weeks ago.
The Lady Indians started off slow and led the Lady Tigers by just five points at halftime.
In the second half, Van-Far’s persistence in using Wallace at point guard and Gatson on the wing paid off.
Van-Far outscored Mark Twain 12-4 in the fourth quarter and cruised to the 15-point victory.
“It seemed to work well and the girls had the best ball movement of the season vs. Mark Twain,” Logan said. “Mark Twain stayed in a zone the whole game (as we expected) so we changed a few things up offensively going into the game based on what I saw in the previous two games.”
Gatson scored a team-high 22 points while Fowler added 10 points. Jenise Johnson scored seven points, Wallace had two points, and Brooke Johnson scored one point.