Van Meter girls, boys basketball teams pick up victories
The Van Meter girls basketball team picked up its first win of the season over Interstate 35 after falling to Knoxville the night before.
The Bulldogs had back-to-back games last week and first played Knoxville on Dec. 2 where Van Meter was defeated 47-41.
Head coach Jay Olson said the Bulldogs missed a lot of chances to score in the game, and while they controlled the pace, they had a rough shooting night.
“We had our chances and they were shots that we practiced a lot,” Olson said. “Some open layups that we missed and then some open three-pointers, a lot of open three-pointers that just didn’t go down.”
He said if Van Meter had just made some of those shots, the team would have been in good shape and changed the momentum, especially considering how close the game was.
Despite the loss, the Bulldogs bounced back and took down Interstate 35 on Dec. 3 and won 45-44.
Olson said the Bulldogs had a good lead after the first quarter but then went through a stretch where they looked like they didn’t know how to play basketball, turning it over a lot and allowing the Roadrunners to get within reach.
“[The Roadrunners] did a good job battling, their post, [Josie] McCuddin, she does a really good job, she ended up with  points and however many rebounds,” Olson said. “That’s going to be our Achilles heel this year of defending the post.”
Once Interstate 35 did battle back, Van Meter took a 17-15 lead at halftime and the game remained close for the second half.
The Roadrunners had a 29-28 lead going into the fourth quarter, but Olson told the team there was still eight minutes left of the game to play.
He said Interstate 35 was on a roll, so Van Meter had to slow that down and then just take it one possession at a time.
“We made a couple free throws late and survived,” Olson said. “That’s all you can ask for, especially for a first one with a bunch of new girls learning how to play together and how to win together.”
As the Bulldogs move forward into this week and will face new opponents, Olson talked about the things he was happy to see from the team and things they’ll still need to work on for upcoming games.
He said Van Meter did a much better job defensively against Interstate 35 than against Knoxville, which is imperative when the team can’t shoot.
“Even if we may not shoot it well… we can still control our defensive intensity and hopefully make it hard for the other team to score,” Olson said.
He said offensively, hopefully the team starts scoring soon and in the meantime the girls just have to shoot with confidence.
Boys basketball wins big
The Van Meter boys basketball team got its season off to a hot start when the Bulldogs faced Interstate 35 in their season opener.
The Bulldogs took on the Roadrunners on Dec. 3 and won 74-48. Van Meter had Interstate 35’s number from the beginning, leading 38-20 at halftime and only going up from there.
Leading the Bulldogs in the charge was senior Clark Fiala, who apparently couldn’t be stopped. Fiala led the team with 31 points on 14 for 20 shooting and also picked up a double double on the way, as he also led the Bulldogs with 10 rebounds. He also added two assists, three steals and a block to pad his stat line as well.
Also contributing to Van Meter’s score were senior Casey Trudo and junior Adyn Netten, who both got into double figures. Trudo added 13 for Van Meter as well as four rebounds while Netten tacked on 11 points and added two steals as well.
Van Meter outrebounded the Roadrunners 33 rebounds to 16 and aside from Fiala, sophomore John Braun and senior Hunter Hinde played a role in that. Braun had five rebounds for Van Meter while Hinde brought down four. Hinde also had three assists, one steal and two blocks in the game.