What was once an Eastern Missouri Conference bout became something greater when the Van-Far varsity boys basketball team visited Community R-6 on Tuesday.
While those league ties no longer bound these squads, the Class 2 defending state champion Indians found themselves in a hotly-contested battle for area supremacy that, for the Trojans, got a serious boost from Caden Escamilla's 26 points, which came via eight baskets, two triples and four free throws. Danny Kuda and Blaze Escamilla also studied hard and came in prepared for this contest and it showed by way of both of their 12-point performances, but Van-Far wasn't without its charms.
For example, with Caden Wilburn scoring 27 by going 10-for-15 from the free throw line while being backed up by Verdell Johnson's 10 points, which were the product of two three-pointers and 4-of-7 shooting from the charity stripe, it's easy to see why this was such a back-and forth affair. It actually wasn't until the third quarter that Van-Far truly started to pull away, but once it did it was able to claim a 51-42 lead at the end of the third on the way to finally winning 73-65.
"I thought our guys played well for the most part. We had the lead at half," said CR-6 coach Matt Thomas. "We did some really good things. "We gave up too many offensive rebounds which led to too many easy baskets on their end."
CR-6 was also fortunate enough to get 11 points from Eric Hombs and finding ways to end up with two points each were Evan Hartsock and Garrett Schmidt.
One of the advantages the Indians had over the Trojans coming into this contest was numbers. This additional depth allowed for individuals such as Colin Wilburn to end up with 11 points for the Indians on five field goals and 1-of-2 free throw shooting and Trey Miller bounced and banged his way to a seven point showing.
Community R-6 next hosts Slater on Dec. 7.
Van-Far is at North Callaway on Dec. 11.