Van Meter boys basketball starts strong, girls basketball keeps winning

Megan Teske, Correspondent
Special to Dallas County News
Van Meter's Carter Durflinger takes the ball up the court during a game last season.

The Van Meter boys basketball team has started its season on a high note, as the Bulldogs have won four straight games and remained undefeated to begin their season.

The Bulldogs picked up three wins last week, including two big wins in back-to-back games.

Van Meter played Pleasantville on Dec. 10 and won 85-55 before they went on to defeat Kuemper Catholic 67-50 on Dec. 11.

Against Pleasantville, head coach Jed Alexander said the Bulldogs jumped out early and had good ball movement on offense to get good looks.

“Just a really good team effort, I thought we played at a pace that we wanted to play at, trying to wear them down,” Alexander said.

The Bulldogs moved on to beat Kuemper Catholic the next day, however Alexander said the team started out slow and sluggish in that game, allowing the Knights to go up 28-24 at half.

Van Meter turned it around in the second half and ended the third quarter up 44-37.

Alexander said the whole team cranked up their defense in the second half, which led to some easy baskets and helped give the Bulldogs a lead.

“It was more the defensive intensity, loose balls, those 50/50 plays that you gotta win those and our guys responded real well and they had a nice third quarter and were able to finish it off,” Alexander said.

Those wins now bring the Bulldogs to a 4-0 record, and coming into the season, Alexander said he had high expectations for this Van Meter team.

Looking at how the team is playing now, he said the team is playing how he expected to for the most part, but that there’s still a long way to go.

“Hopefully we can continue to improve and gel together, find the right lineups for the right situations and keep playing together as a team and we’ll continue to improve,” Alexander said.

Van Meter will now look to carry its momentum forward when the Bulldogs play a one-loss Madrid team with a freshman scoring over 20 points a game.

Alexander said the game will be a tough one, but he’s hoping the Bulldogs’ experience and depth will help propel them to a win.

“If we can make it tough on them and hopefully wear them down a little bit, by the end of the game hopefully we can pull out a victory,” Alexander said.

Van Meter will look to make it five in a row against Madrid at 7:15 p.m. Dec. 14 at Madrid High School.

Girls basketball keeps winning

After its wins this past week, the Van Meter girls basketball team has gone on a four-game win streak.

The Bulldogs had back-to-back games Dec. 9 and 10 and won both, first defeating Pella Christian and then taking down Pleasantville.

Van Meter first put down Pella Christian 48-38 in a game where the Bulldogs were down most of the time.

The Eagles had a three-point lead heading into the final quarter, but Van Meter outscored Pella Christian 19-6 in the fourth quarter to get the win.

Leading the Bulldogs was the tandem of seniors Chaney Coppinger and Zoie Vaught. Coppinger led with 13 points and eight rebounds while Vaught followed right behind with 12 points and six rebounds.

Senior Shae Bernhardt also had a strong game for Van Meter, adding nine points on three of four shooting, three rebounds, an assist and a steal.

The following day, Van Meter continued its success in a commanding 57-37 win over Pleasantville.

Vaught and Coppinger once again led the way, with Vaught putting up 24 points for the Bulldogs on 10 of 16 shooting and Coppinger adding 13 more.

The duo also added eight rebounds each, and while Vaught led the team in steals with three, Coppinger led in assists with four.

Another Bulldog with a solid day was senior Maya Herman, who had a good day on the boards. Herman pulled down six rebounds, including four offensive rebounds, and dished out three assists. She also tacked on a steal for the day.

The Bulldogs will look to make it five in a row when they play Madrid at 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at Madrid High School.