HURRICANE, W.Va. – The Van High School boys basketball team opened up their season with a convincing road win over Calvary Baptist, 66-61.
In the December 10 contest, Calvary Baptist jumped out to an early 25-10 advantage on the strength of strong perimeter shooting before the Bulldogs came back thanks to some stingy defense and tough play in the paint.
A 27-7 fourth period advantage sealed the win for Van as they knocked down their free throws down the stretch.
For the game, guard Taylor Jarrell hit 10-of-10 charity stripe attempts. Jarrell, who along with teammate Cole Price should hit the 1000-point career mark this season, led the squad with 40 points including four 3-point shots, Cole Price had 10 points and eight rebounds, Brandon Moore had eight points, Gavin Smith five and Caleb Price three.
“Taylor scored 19 points in the final 4:30 of the game, said coach David Gogas. “He was 13-of-18 from the field.”
In their home opener on December 13, the Bulldogs hosted Tug Valley.
The Panthers took an early lead as the Van offense sputtered in the opening period, only netting two points.
Van (1-2) fell behind at intermission, 30-12 and could not recover as they fell 61-39 despite an 11-5 run in the final period.
Taylor Jarrell led the squad with 13 points, Caleb Price netted 10, Gavin Smith had six and nine rebounds, Cole Price had five and eight rebounds, Brandon more had two and nine rebounds, D.J. Jarrell had two points and Ethan Acord one. Garret Brown led the Panthers with 14.
The Bulldogs lost a tight game with Tolsia at home on December 16.
After several lead changes and momentum shifts, the Rebels pulled out the win, 83-80. A highly contested game came down to a fourth period breakdown for the Bulldogs that saw the Rebels go on a 21-10 run that brought the victory home to Rebel country.
“We played pretty well offensively throughout the night,” said Gogas. “They came out in the fourth in a zone defense and we didn’t get the best looks. We were in a little foul trouble throughout the game and the bench came up with some big minutes. Ultimately, we have to get better on the defensive side of the game, we struggled at times to get back on defense which led to 20-plus fast break lay ups.”
Taylor Jarrell’s 29 and Brandon Moore’s breakout game of 26 points and nine boards led Van. Caleb Price and Ethan Acord netted eight, while Cole Price had seven and Gavin Smith two. Colten Jude led the Rebels with 22.
Van will face St. Joe in Clarksburg on December 27 at 3 p.m. in the Notre Dame Holiday Tournament before hosting county rival Sherman on January 13.