BOWLING GREEN—The Van-Far Indians were fast and agile on the court, but the Bowling Green Bobcats’ squad had a distinct height advantage and eventually that advantage helped them dominate the game with a 66-36 win.
Van-Far was first on the scoreboard with a 3 pointer. Bowling Green came back with a 2-point basket, but Van-Far was able to quickly score another 3 point basket, keeping them in the lead during the first period.
Even though Van-Far’s players were smaller, they were able to score from outside the 3-point line with ease. At the end of the first period, Van-Far was in the lead, 16-9. Bowling Green was struggling to catch up.
Then, about halfway through the second period, the Bobcats found their stride and were able to bring it back to within 4 points. With less than 2 minutes to go in the first half, the Bobcats retook the lead, 25-24. By the end of the half, they had extended their lead 29-25.
The Bobcat defense came to life, making it more difficult for Van-Far to make those 3 point shots. By taking away that avenue, the Indians were forced to try shooting from under the basket, and the Bobcat height advantage became clear.
No. 10, Owen Niemeyer, used his speed to bring the ball across the court and in for a smooth lay up on more than a few occasions.
At the end of the third period, Bowling Green had extended its lead, 43-29.
Van-Far’s players used their quickness to move in and steal the ball while the Bobcats were trying to dribble into Indian territory.
As hard as they were playing, the Van-Far boys could not retake the lead.
At the final buzzer, the Bobcats held the lead and took the win with a score of 66-36.
“The first quarter was sluggish for us,” said Bowling Green head coach Brandon McCann. “We weren’t hustling and playing with energy. And we didn’t give our all on defense either. During the second quarter we started relaxing, which led to making shots and getting out in transition. That carried over from halftime and didn’t let up. We executed really well, shared the ball, and did the little things to help us come out with the win.”
As for the Indians, head coach Pat Connaway said, “It’s starting to become a theme with us—solid first half and a shaky second half. You see this a lot in young teams, but we have to continue to work and get better.”
“When shots don’t fall you can’t let your defensive effort slip, and right now that is what we are doing. Early on things were good and we knocked down shots, but as the half closed out we weren’t scoring and we gave up 20 points in the second quarter that let Bowling Green take a 4-point lead into the locker room.”
Connaway added that, “In the third period, we continued to struggle offensively and we got frustrated, the game got physical and we just didn’t respond. The previous games this week we went through the same lulls, but were able to come back and maintain our lead and get two victories, but against a club like Bowling Green, it was just too much for us to overcome. They did a good job making adjustments on Nikos, DJ and LaTrell. The two freshmen scored 20 of our 25 in the first half and then only combined for 5 points in the second half.
We have to learn and regroup from this game, as our schedule gets tougher and tougher. We opened Tuesday night against 5A Hannibal in the Palmyra Tourney. We’re 5-7 on the year, but getting better and better each week. We need to keep putting the work in and, hopefully, the results will show up in the win column. As always, it’s a great day to be an Indian!”