The Van-Far Indians outrebounded rival Community R-VI 54-27 and they needed every bit of their hustle as they left Laddonia last week with a close 73-65 victory.
“Tonight, we really dominated the boards on both ends,” said Van-Far head coach Pat Connaway. “We out rebounded them 54-27 and it’s a good thing we did. We had trouble finishing all night. We missed several bunnies at point blank range and couldn’t finish from the free throw line. R-VI played really hard and shot the ball tremendously…It was a tough road test and we battled and persevered. ”
The Van-Far Indians began the game against Community R-VI with an eight point lead at the end of the first quarter, up 16-8.
The Trojans fought hard and put up 20 in the second quarter putting them ahead at halftime by one point.
In the third, Van-Far came out strong, scoring 24 against the Trojans’ 14.
Yet in the fourth quarter, the Indians met up with some tough Trojans with Van-Far scoring 22 to Community’s 23, though the Indians held on to win the game by eight points.
“I thought our guys played well for the most part,” said Community R-VI head coach Matt Thomas. “We had the lead at half. We did some really good things. We gave up too many offensive rebounds, which led to too many easy baskets on their end.”
Van-Far struggled from the perimeter as all but eight of their points came from inside the paint or at the free throw line.
Caden Wilburn led the Indians with a career-high 25 and 10 rebounds.
Colin Wilburn added a double-double of his own with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Verlyn Johnson added 10 points and 10 rebounds; Verdell Johnson scored eight points; Trey Miller had seven points and 11 rebounds; while both Dillion Minor and Sam Middleton had five points.
“We weren’t at our best offensively, but when you nearly have five kids in double figures, you have good balance,” Connaway said. “Anytime we can win a ball game and Trey is our fifth leading scorer, we’re doing something right…”
Connaway also noted the play of his bench. Minor came up big for the Indians on both sides of the floor. Verdell Johnson logged big minutes for his squad along with Rylee Hanson, Riley Culwell, and Middleton.
Van-Far was shorthanded during the game as Treyson Culwell was out with an illness.
Caden Escamilla led the Trojans with 26 points; Danny Kuda and Blaze Escamilla each scored 12 points; Eric Hombs had 11; while both Garrett Schmidt and Evan Hartsock had two points. Blaze’s points came on four 3-pointers.