Points in the paint proved to be the difference Monday at the Madison Tournament as the Van-Far varsity boys basketball team defeated Cairo 76-46.

"We came out with a lot of energy and were hungry. We talked about our poor performance on Thursday and really wanted to bounce back and make a statement.," said coach Pat Connaway. "Our defensive pressure was the key today. We forced 24 turnovers and several led to easy buckets. Our intensity was up from the opening tip. I thought we moved the ball better on offense against their zone and really got some good looks."

Having outscored Cairo 48-30 from inside, the Indians also made 34-of-61 field goals, including 6-of-18 three-pointers, and scored 21 points off of two dozen turnovers.

"We definitely wanted to go out and go fast today. Our goal in the locker room was to score more in the first half than we did the entire game Thursday against Highland," Connaway said. "When we put up 29 that definitely allowed us to reach that goal and also took them out of their game early. Coming out of half we talked about keeping the intensity and keeping the pressure up."

Even though Van-Far got outscored 21-18 in the second quarter and 6-5 in the fourth, the difference in the game was the 53-19 advantage it claimed in the other quarters. This included 29-9 in the first and 24-10 in the third.

"I told them good teams will push this to 30 and we were able to open the quarter on a 12-0 run to go up 29 in the first 78 seconds of the quarter.," said Connaway. "It was a nice way to bounce back and start 2017 off in the right way. Now we need to get ready for Wednesday and a very good athletic Battle JV team. Five A JV teams are better than most 3A schools varsity teams so we will need to prepare and play well if we want to play for the championship on Saturday."