VERSAILLES – The Versailles Lady Tigers, using their signature pressure defense and a diverse offensive attack, defeated Arcanum 75-31 Monday in an old Darke County League matchup.
The Lady Trojans still managed some satisfaction in the loss as senior Stevie Johnting went over the 1,000 point mark for her career.
With the score tied at 5 and 5:56 left in the first quarter, the Lady Tigers’ pressure took over. Their defense completely took Arcanum out of its offensive rhythm, so much so that the Lady Trojans would not score again for the rest of the period. Versailles scored 14 more points in the quarter to build a 19-5 lead after one stanza.
“Really like how the girls are playing defense,” Versailles girls basketball coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “We’re getting after it defensively in our press, which is really accelerating our offense … We try to slow a team down, think of every pass. It’s going to work a lot. Sometimes, we won’t be successful, but we’re going to keep trying.”
The second quarter would go no better for Arcanum. After a positive beginning, a 3-point play by Kaitlyn Zell, the Lady Trojans found themselves in the midst of another Versailles scoring streak. Over the next six minutes the Lady Tigers would go on a 25-4 surge, breaking open the game and taking a 44-12 lead.
But just before the intermission, Johnting connected from the left baseline to go over 1,000 points for her career. The score at the break was 47-18 Versailles.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” Johnting said. “I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and teammates.”
“She’s a great kid, hardworking … gotten better over the summer,” Arcanum coach Matt Grote said of his senior leader. “Always wants to do the right things … Great scorer, great teammate, overall great kid. Glad she’s able to go to Cedarville next year and continue her career.”
The Versailles offense showed its versatility throughout the game. The Lady Tigers used their height advantage to score inside, and when Arcanum sagged its defense to help on the inside Versailles started using its long-range shooting attack.
“We really moved the ball well tonight,” Coach Stonebraker said. “Found the open girl. Drive and dish and drive and dump into the post.”
Versailles’ Clair Schmitmeyer led all scorers with 14 and Liz Ording and Kami McEldowney had 13 each for the Lady Tigers. Johnting had 12 for Arcanum with Gracie Garno adding 9.
Versailles advanced to 9-0 on the season. Arcanum is now 4-4 for the year.