ARCANUM – The Fort Recovery Lady Indians, rated No. 4 in the state in Division III, came, saw and were almost conquered by the hard-charging Arcanum Lady Trojans.
The Lady Trojans came up just short of pulling the upset, 33-31. Arcanum had a chance to potentially win the game with eight seconds left, but the ball was knocked away and time ran off the orange and black scoreboard.
Arcanum dropped down to 10-6 overall and still stands at 7-1 in the Cross County Conference. Fort Recovery improved to 11-1 and stayed at 3-1 in the Midwest Athletic Conference with its only loss coming at the hands of Division III state ranked Versailles.
Fort Recovery came out strong in the first quarter and attacked the nets for 12 points while holding Arcanum to 4. Arcanum had Stevie Johnting with a bucket and Kayla O’Daniel with two freebies. Fort Recovery covered all bases with Jocelyn Kaiser rolling in a team-leading 6 points aided by three other Indians with 2.
The second quarter was a stalemate as both squads garnered 10 points apiece. Johnting led the Trojans again with 3 followed by Camille Pohl, Gracie Garno, and Madi O’Daniel with 2 apiece. Brittany Kinney canned in one freebie to finalize the scoring. Fort Recovery again was led by 5-foot 9-inch senior guard Jocelyn Kaiser with 6, scoring in all three ways possible. Two others popped in a bucket, and the scoreboard read 22-14 after 16 minutes of action.
Halftime oratories by both coaches produced more defense as both teams combined for 11 total points total in this third quarter. Arcanum led the offensive side of this defensive quarter with 7 points led by Elle Siculan’s 3-pointer and two free throws apiece by Kayla O’Daniel and Johnting. Fort Recovery could only come back briefly with a bucket each by Carley Stone and Whitney Will. Arcanum’s deficit was cut down to 26-21 heading into the fourth quarter.
Fourth quarter fireworks showcased the Trojans with 10 counters led by Johnting with 5 with Camille Pohl fishing in 3 more and Gracie Garno garnishing a bucket. Fort Recovery recovered just enough to pull out the nail biter by relying on one person who did all the scoring. Will willed her team to victory by popping in 7 points for the Mercer County squad. The final tally was a 2-point victory in this non-conference affair.
Scoring for the Lady Trojans saw Johnting with a dozen points followed by Pohl with 5, Kayla O’Daniel and Gracie Garno both scored 4 apiece, Siculan popped in 3, Madi O’Daniel launched in a 2 and Kinney canned one freebie. Totals read five regulars, three 3-pointers and 12 free throws. The Trojans were 12 out of 17 from the charity stripe.
Scoring for the state-ranked Indians featured leading scorer Kaiser 12, Will 11, Stone 6, Olivia Patch 2 and Grace Thien with 2. Totals read 10 regulars, two 3-pointers and seven freebies for 33. The Indians were 70 percent at the line, going 7 for 10.
“We definitely had our chances of pulling off this big non-conference victory. We were able to stay in the game by taking it one possession at a time and following our game plan,” Arcanum girls basketball coach Matt Grote said. “Our free throw shooting was off as we usually shoot 75 percent, and we only shot about 25 percent from the field. The girls usually score over 50 a game, but we were held to 31 tonight. However, I am very proud of our team and we were able to grind it out on the defensive end tonight.”