Van-Far puts it all together, beats Silex

Dave Faries

The equation was offense plus defense plus ball movement times team chemistry. And when Van-Far put all of it together on Friday, they proved unbeatable, downing Silex at home 55-35.

Led by DJ Long, the Indians scored 39 points by halftime. They scored in the paint and forced turnovers. They outmanned Silex under the glass.

“Tonight we set the tone early on both ends of the floor,” said coach Pat Connaway. “It was nice to perform well in front of a big crowd. The kids really fed off the energy of our student section.”

Long hit 14 of his 16 points in the first half. He was joined by Nikos Connaway, who poured in 11 of his 13 in that span.

But this was a balanced effort. Connaway grabbed 7 boards, handed out 5 assists and defensively led transition play with 6 steals.

LaTrell Wright scored 16 on the night, Cayden Caldwell 5, Hunter Scrogin 4 and Gage Gibson 1. But Wright was also a force on the defensive end with 5 rebounds. Long and Scrogin combined for a dozen.

And Wright was as adept as Connaway in picking pockets.

“Cayden was able to knock down a couple of shots and defensively he and Gage were applying tons of ball pressure the entire night,” coach Connaway observed. “LaTrell brought his usual energy to both sides of the floor.”

The Indians had conference games scheduled at Wright City and Louisiana on Monday and Tuesday nights.

Just missed against W-M

The game was on the line Tuesday at Wellsville-Middletown – literally.

Wellsville hit 10 of 14 free throws on the night while Van-Far was less effective, converting only 10 of 20. And when the Indians were forced to foul when down by 4 points with two minutes to play, the hosts’ accuracy proved deadly as Van-Far fell 53-47.

“That’s a huge difference and really affected the outcome of the game,” coach Pat Connaway said of points from the line.

Also a difference maker was the third quarter. Van-Far held a 2-point lead at the break, but let it slip away when play resumed.

“They outscored us 16-10 in the third and we actually were lucky it wasn’t worse,” the coach noted.

It was not the Indians best outing defensively. Connaway cited missed assignments, but also said the team lacked patience on offense, as well.

And yet the Indians remained within striking distance all night.

Nikos Connaway and DJ Long kept things close, Connaway dropping 17 points and Long 15. LaTrell Wright almost reached a double-double – 9 points to 13 rebounds.

Hunter Scrogin, with 4, and Gage Gibson, with 2, rounded out the scoring.

“We are playing better, we just need to learn how to play a complete game,” Connaway said.



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