NEW PARIS – All coaches have those nights when the shots aren’t dropping and the team is struggling on offense.
It is a long season, and it is hard to for a team to stay spot on night after night. And when you don’t have offense, you need to have a strong defense and do the little things right such as boxing out and getting rebounds.
On some nights it is the team that executes the basic fundamentals of basketball that ends up with the victory. That was the case with the Arcanum Trojans as they did not do anything fancy, just did the little things right against the National Trail Blazers.
Normally Arcanum is a team that shoots well from the outside. But the Trojans only sunk two 3-pointers Tuesday night. Mackenzie Sharritts got one in the first quarter, and Brittany Kinney got hers in the last quarter.
Arcanum got most of its points on the night from Stevie Johnting and Gracie Garno knifing through the Trail zone to the basket for layups.
On the other hand, a small Trail team shot well in the first half from the perimeter. The Blazers scored well enough to keep the game tight for most of the game. At halftime it was 22-18 in favor of Arcanum.
Arcanum pressed a little in the first half but didn’t generate very many turnovers. After halftime Arcanum mixed in some full court man to man and a diamond press against the Blazers. The Trojans got a few turnovers, but the more noticeable effect seemed to be to tire out the Blazers, who did not have as deep of a bench.
In the last quarter, the Blazers had their chances to make a move. Arcanum gave up bonus to Trail at the 5:55 mark. But the Blazers bricked the front end of several one-and-ones. And also at that time Madi O’Daniel, who had been a post presence for the Trojans, got her fourth foul and had to go to the bench.
Trail did drive in a few shots in the paint but could not make up much ground. The Blazers closed to 6 points (34-28) at the 4:28 mark.
But now Trail gave up bonus and the Trojans shot well enough at the stripe, going 7-of-12 from the foul line to extend their lead. Trail threw a desperation press at Arcanum, but the Trojans held them off for a 40-32 victory.
“Some nights you don’t shoot well, and you are slow on your feet on defense,” Arcanum girls basketball coach Matt Grote said. “And that was quite an effort by Trail. They fought us hard all the way – they played a great game. I was happy with the way our team handled adversity. It’s a long season, and you are going to have a game like this. We had a lot of open looks. We just couldn’t hit our shots so we started driving to the hoop.
“We have another league game coming up in Mississinawa Valley. We have to come out in that game ready to go – because if not, then anything could happen. Mikala Stump has just a 3-point record for them. So we have to be ready to defend the perimeter. We have to take care of the ball and rebound like we are capable.”