ARCANUM – The Arcanum Trojans unleashed a strong first half of scoring and defense to collar the Bulldogs of Milton- Union 45-33.
Saturday afternoon’s crowd of 150 watched the Lady Trojans improved to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in the Cross County Conference. Milton-Union’s record fell to 2-3, but the Bulldogs are still 1-0 in their Southwestern Buckeye League.
The first quarter showed both teams trying to impose their will for the first part of the frame as it was 4-4 at the 4:19 mark. However, the second part of the stanza was all Arcanum as the Trojans erupted with an 11-1 run to finish out the frame at 15-5.
Forward Brittany Kinney was hotter than a door buster sale at J.C. Penney as she scored in all manners possible with a three, two twos and a freebie for a eight points. Following closely was fellow senior Stevie Johnting with a three and two freebies for five points. Rounding out the scoring was a third senior in Kaitlyn Zell, who popped in a fielder for two points.
The second canto saw the Milton Lady Bulldogs get bullish on their defensive stances for the first three minutes of the frame as they sliced the lead to seven points at 15-8 with 5:36 remaining. The final five minutes and change was Trojan time as time and time again Coach Matt Grote’s charges worked the ball around and forced the much taller Bulldogs to foul and put them on the line.
Arcanum went on another run of 11-3 to tighten the collar around the SWBL squad from Miami County. After all was said and done, the Trojans cavorted off the court and into the locker room with a comfortable lead at 26-11.
Freshman Gracie Garno garnered six points, Johnting joined in with three markers and junior Elle Siculan made a two-point bucket.
“We knew coming out into the second half that they would come after us and try to work it in to their inside girls of which two were over 6 foot tall and another 5-10,” Grote said. “It was definitely a tale of two halves as Milton came out hard and controlled the game before we settled down. We rebounded well the first half, but the second half was all Milton for the most part as they boxed out well and utilized their height. However, we had different girls step up tonight as one of our leading scorers, McKenzie Sharritts was held scoreless. We pulled the ball out at times to force them to foul to stem the tide. Madi O’Daniel used her height and put in an important old-fashioned three in the fourth quarter, and freshman Gracie Garno was all over the place helping us with scoring and defense.”
Third quarter scoring showed the Bulldogs getting bit with a quick 5-0 flurry that rivaled the snow flurries outside with the Darke County squad’s lead increasing to 31-13. However, the Miami County squad battled back with an 8-5 outburst to make it a stalemate in point production at 10 apiece, 36-21.
Scoring gems were produced by Johnting with three, Garno another trifecta while Zell and O’Daniel cascading in two points apiece.
The fourth quarter saw the Milton squad toasting the nets for 12 points, which outdid the Bulldogs’ first half scoring by one marker. Arcanum countered with nine points to keep the Bulldogs at bay and corral the victory by nailing all three of its free throws while going 8-of-10 for the game.
Garno led the attack with four markers followed along by O’Daniel with her three and Johnting joining in with two points.
Final scoring for the Lady Trojans showed Johnting and Garno sharing scoring honors with 13 apiece, Kinney eight, O’Daniel in five, Kaitlyn Zell four and Elle Siculan finished it out with two points.
Milton-Union was led by Kristen Dickison with nine points followed closely by Taylor Jacobs and Olivia Brown with eighth each, Briane Stone had two and Elizabeth Renner with one.