PITSBURG – After trailing for most of Saturday’s game Arcanum got a buzzer-beating shot by Stevie Johnting to lift the Lady Trojans to a 53-51 victory over rival Franklin Monroe.
Arcanum, which didn’t lead at all in either the second or third quarters, tied up Saturday’s Cross County Conference girls basketball game with just 1:45 remaining. The Trojans then scored the game-winning basket with less than a second on the clock, giving them their first lead since the first quarter and a 2-point victory.
“To be able to have this until next year, that’s huge,” Arcanum coach Matt Grote said of defeating rival Franklin Monroe. “Hats off to FM, though. They came out with a great game plan. They played hard. They executed. They’ve got some good, young players. They’re going to be good for a while.”
Arcanum’s largest lead of the day came midway through the first quarter. First Brittany Kinney scored to give the Trojans their first lead at 6-4 and then McKenzie Sharritts drained a 3-pointer to make it a 5-point advantage.
Led by the trio of freshmen Corina Conley, Belle Cable and Audrey Cable Franklin Monroe battled back and tied the score at 11-11 by the end of the quarter.
The score was briefly tied in the second quarter, first at 11-11 and then again at 13-13, before Franklin Monroe started to pull away and built a double-digit lead, 24-14. By the end of the half the score was 29-24 in favor of the Lady Jets.
In the third quarter Franklin Monroe’s lead fluctuated between 3 and 8 points and ultimately ended with the Jets on top 42-38.
“It was tough,” Grote said. “We had to dig deep into the bench, had three starters with four fouls so they were out for a while. The bench just stayed with it, everybody stayed positive and came down and were able to execute at the end.”
With just 1:35 remaining Arcanum managed to tie the game up for the first time since early in the second quarter with a basket by Kayla O’Daniel.
After getting a defensive stop with the game knotted at 51-51, Arcanum had a chance for the game-winning basket. The Trojans missed the potential game-winner, but Kinney managed to grab the ball and force a jump ball with just three seconds remaining.
“It would have been great to hit that layup with about five or six seconds left, but luckily Brittany had her head on a swivel and followed it, anticipated a miss and got hands in there and got that jump ball,” Grote said. “If not, who knows how this game (would have) ended up.”
After a Franklin Monroe timeout, Kinney inbounded the ball to Johnting near the basket, and she scored just before the buzzer sounded to give Arcanum a 53-51 win.
“We were doubling her, and that’s what I told them to do,” Franklin Monroe coach Abbey Moore said. “Unfortunately she got her hands on the ball, and she put it in when she needed to.”
Kayla O’Daniel led Arcanum with 16 points on Saturday. Also for the Lady Trojans, Johnting scored 12 points, Gracie Garno scored 8, Kinney scored 7, Sharritts scored 6, Elle Siculan scored 3, and Madi O’Daniel scored 1.
“We got down and just hung in and fought and clawed and somehow found out a way to win at the end,” Grote said.
Conley led Franklin Monroe with a game-high 22 points. Also for the Lady Jets, Audrey Cable scored 17 points, Belle Cable scored 10, and Kinsey Goins scored 2.
“I’m extremely proud of my girls,” Moore said. “It’s unfortunate we came up 2 points short at the end, but I’m extremely proud of the effort they gave. We’ve gotta learn and go forward from here and get ready to play some tournament basketball.”
Arcanum improved to 12-6 overall and 9-1 in the CCC with the win while Franklin Monroe fell to 11-7 overall and 6-4 in the CCC.
Arcanum will travel to Brookville on Monday, and Franklin Monroe will play host to Fort Recovery on Tuesday.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.