Season ends for Van-Far boys after 57-48 district title loss to Harrisburg


When buckets were needed down the stretch, Harrisburg hit them while the Van-Far boys fell further behind. The Indians' season ended at 22-6 -- their most wins since 2020 -- after a 57-48 loss to Harrisburg on Saturday in the Class 2 District 5 championship game at Clopton in Clarksville. 

Van-Far (22-6) led for most of the first half and maintained an advantage until Harrisburg (18-11) snatched the lead a few times in the third quarter and then took it for good early in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs scored 21 of their 32 second-half points in the fourth quarter, boosted by eight points from Bryce Ott on an 8-0 run that made it 52-44 Harrisburg with less than two minutes left in the game. Ott finished with 15 points, five rebounds and four 3-pointers, Trace Combs led the floor with 23 points and three 3-pointers, and Wyatt Lind had 13 points.

"The physicality ended up having a toll on us," head coach Pat Connaway said. "We took some bad shots and forced some things that weren't really there."

Unanimous first-team all-Eastern Missouri Conference player and senior Nikos Connaway had 13 points, six assists and five rebounds in his final game as an Indian and only followed behind Van-Far's other unanimous first-team player Pacey Reading and his 21 points, six rebounds and five 3-pointers. Reading nailed his first four 3-point attempts in the first quarter to give the Indians a hot start. Second-team all-conference player and senior Carter Jennings had six points and five rebounds.

Look for the full story in the Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, edition of the Mexico Ledger.