Van Buren didn’t have quite the start it planned, but it got the win.
Just seconds before tipoff, one of the referees informed Van Buren coach Randy Loyd that two of his starters, Michael Smith and Bradley Eversole could not wear leggings of any sort. This was at the conclusion of the warm-up in which the Van Buren players were all wearing shorts.
The duo had to change, and the game had to start with substitutes.
Subiaco managed to get a small lead to start the game. With Smith and Eversole back in the game, Van Buren took advantage of some poor shooting in the second quarter as the Pointers won their season and home opener 55-46 Friday night at Clair Bates Arena.
Smith had a double-double 19 points and 12 rebounds and teammate Jason Harms had a game-high 21 points.
Subiaco’s Cash Krueger hit back-to-back threes to lift the Trojans up 6-0 with 6:44 remaining in the first quarter. Both Smith and Eversole returned shortly afterwards. Jason Harms sparked the Pointer offense as he hit a trey of his own and converted a turnover into points as Van Buren trailed 6-5 with 5:36 left.
Another trey by Krueger pushed Subiaco back to a two possession lead at the 4:09 mark. Van Buren then had a 6-2 run to close out the quarter with another trey from Quashaun Kursh during the run.
Van Buren outscored Subiaco 14-2 in the second quarter as the Trojans shot just 1 of 12 from the floor.
The Pointers led by as much as 16 points (40-24) after Harms’ third three pointer of the night with 6:18 remaining in the game. Subiaco battled back and managed to cut the lead to seven, 45-38, when Kelly Hollis hit a pair of free throws at the 2:17 mark. The Trojans never got any closer.
Krueger led his team with 15 points teammate Chris Reed added 14.
"It was a good game to start the season," said Loyd. "I thought the defense played well, especially in the first half. There are some things I hope we get better at before our next game."
Van Buren outrebounded Subiaco 29-19 with Eversole pulling down seven to help pace the Pointers. Van Buren also had 15 turnovers, but only three were forced by the Trojans. The Pointers did force eight (six in the second half) of Subiaco’s 10 turnovers.
Van Buren faces Shiloh Christian at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 wrap up the first day of the 2013 Citizens Bank Classic. The Lady Pointers take on Gentry on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.
Cedarville is also participating in the tournament and will face Farmington on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.
Van Buren 47, Subiaco 41 (JV)
Hayden Salisbury and Cade Almond scored 12 and 11 points respectively for the JV team. Grant Wilson added nine for the Pointers.
Van Buren led 25-15 at halftime, but the Trojans cut the lead to 34-28 in the third quarter.
Van Buren 55, Subiaco 46
Subiaco 11 2 9 24 — 46
Cedarville 11 14 8 22 — 55
Subiaco (0-1): Krueger 15, Reed 14, Hurst 8, Hollis 6, Johnson 3.
Van Buren (1-0): Harms 21, Smith 19, Kursh 5, Pearson 4, Steinmetz 3, Martin 2.