The Mark Twain boys basketball team ran out of gas in the fourth quarter of a 73-59 loss at Van-Far on Friday night.

The Mark Twain boys basketball team ran out of gas in the fourth quarter of a 73-59 loss at Van-Far in an Eastern Missouri Conference road game Friday night.

Mark Twain (8-12, 3-3 EMO) was going bucket-for-bucket with the Indians and trailed by just two points, 47-45, entering the final period as it tried to break a five-game losing streak. 

But Van-Far (18-3, 7-1) exploded for 26 points over the final eight minutes of play to secure the win. 

“We were a little worn down in the fourth,” Mark Twain coach Cody McCann said. “We played extremely hard in the first half, and that was our best third quarter we've played in a while. But then we got a little gassed there and they took advantage of that.”

Mark Twain played strong out of the gate to take an 18-9 lead through the first quarter.

Grant Peters, the Tigers 6-foot-7 senior center, netted seven points in the period and 24 on the night. He also finished with a team-high 13 rebounds.

“We were getting the ball inside and taking really good care of the ball,” McCann said. “We were forcing the issue, attacking, kicking, getting to the rim, making layups, knocking down free throws. That was big in the first half.” 

As quickly as Mark Twain built its lead, it went away.

Josh Hodde drained a pair of threes as Van-Far outscored the visitors 22-9 in the second quarter. The senior point guard finished with 19 points in the win.

“When they settled in, it became a ballgame and they started knocking down some shots and started getting some easy putbacks,” McCann said. “That fueled them into their run that they had to close the second quarter out.” 

Jace Barton scored eight of his 16 points for Mark Twain in the third quarter to keep the Tigers in the game after trailing 31-27 at the intermission. 

Preston Eckler added nine points in the losing effort.

McCann mentioned he was pleased with the way his team played despite the loss.

“We played extremely well tonight for the most part,” the Tigers coach said. “We had a few lapses when we struggled, and they took advantage of our lapses. They're a really good team so give credit to them. But I think we're moving in the right direction.”