Van-Far girls top Wellsville-Middletown in districts

Van-Far girls top Wellsville-Middletown in districts
Van-Far freshman Katelyn Sutton (right) is defended by Wellsville-Middletown's Kennedy Rentfro in a Class 2, District 5 quarterfinal game on Saturday. Sutton and the Indians won 61-32. [Theo Tate]
By: 
Theo Tate
Staff Writer

A year ago, the Van-Far girls basketball team had just three wins.

Now, the Indians are enjoying their best season in 10 years.

Van-Far clinched its first .500 season since the 2010-11 season after cruising to a 61-32 win over the Wellsville-Middletown Tigers on Saturday in a Class 2, District 5 quarterfinal game at home. The Indians improved to 11-10.

“I think it’s a good start to the program,” Van-Far junior Haley Baskett said. “Hopefully, after the season ends, we could keep it going next year, too.”

The third-seeded Indians were scheduled to play second-seeded New Haven in the district semifinals on Tuesday at New Haven.

Three players finished in double figures for the Indians. Baskett led the way with 19 points, followed by junior Devyn Keller with 16 and sophomore Mara Jensen with 10.

Baskett scored 15 of her points in the first half.

“Haley is an all-around player,” Van-Far coach Heather Minter said. “She can play guard for us. She can play post for us. Since her injury from last year, she’s not been able to move as quickly as I want her to be. But at the end of the day, she plays as hard as she can for us.”

Even though it played its third game in three days in the district contest against W-M, Van-Far didn’t show any signs of fatigue. The Indians stormed to an 8-0 lead after the first two minutes and never looked back. The Vandalia school led 21-4 after the first quarter and 36-11 at halftime.

“If you watched us play Thursday night (against Clopton), you can tell by the score that we were tired,” said Minter, who is in her second season as Van-Far coach. “We had a game that Friday (Feb. 12) and we hadn’t been in the gym since that Friday. Thursday, it showed. We tried to decide if it would be good to play three games in a row and I thought it would get us back into rhythm. I thought it got us back in rhythm.”

The Indians hit the double-digit mark in victories for the first time since 2012, when they won 12 games in 2012. Their last winning season was in 2011, when they finished 14-11.

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