Most know about Cullen VanLeer’s ability to score points on the basketball court.
But Pacific’s 6-4 junior guard showed he has some rebounding skills as well.
Behind 33 points, 20 rebounds and four assists by VanLeer, the Indians claimed a 65-56 overtime win Tuesday at Festus.
VanLeer grabbed 16 defensive rebounds and four offensive boards. He was 6-12 from the three-point arc and 9-13 from the free-throw line.
The 20 rebounds is a career high for VanLeer. The 33 points ties a career high from his freshman season.
“For a point guard to have 20 rebounds in a game is pretty amazing,” said Pacific Head Coach John VanLeer. “Cullen has worked hard in the weight room and it’s paying off.”
With the game tied 56-56 at the end of regulation, Pacific outscored Festus 9-0 in overtime.
“They missed their shots in overtime and we did a good job getting the rebound and not allowing any second chances,” VanLeer said. “It was a good win on the road in a small gym. We had around 65 kids from our school make the trip on a Tuesday night. Our crowd was louder than theirs. We had great support.”
Pacific (3-1) jumped to a 12-2 lead and held advantages of 14-9 after one quarter and 26-22 at halftime.
The game was tied 42-42 heading into the fourth quarter.
“Festus made some shots and led by seven points with under three minutes left in the fourth quarter,” VanLeer said. “Jacob Klenke and Cullen both hit three-pointers to make it a one-point game. We finally tied it when Cullen got an offensive rebound and a put back off a missed free throw with about 30 seconds left. They had one final shot, but missed a 12- to 14-footer at the end. We then went into overtime, where we dominated.”
Noah Boyer finished the game with 12 points, three rebounds and two assists.
“Noah had a good game,” VanLeer said. “He made some big baskets in the second quarter.”
Tanner Brown collected seven points and four rebounds.
Jeffrey Hinkle and Jacob Klenke both scored five points. Hinkle added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Logan Armstrong collected two points, two rebounds and two assists. Zach Kraus had one point. Chris Klenke had two rebounds.
Pacific was 16-30 from the foul line.
“It was a character win for us. Being able to win in a hostile environment is a sign of a good team,” VanLeer said. “We were down by seven points late in the game, but never quit, kept playing and found a way to win.”
Pacific’s game Friday at Salem was postponed due to the poor weather. The Indians take on Troy in the Norm Stewart Classic at Columbia College Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
“Troy is one of those schools with a great basketball tradition,” VanLeer said. “They’re a defensively sound team and have some kids who can score.”