ARCANUM – A 7-point lead slipped away from the Arcanum girls basketball team on Thursday as the Trojans lost 34-32 to Covington in a Cross County Conference matchup.
The Lady Trojans led 30-23 entering the fourth quarter but only scored 2 points the rest of the game as they fell to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in the CCC this season.
“I think tonight we just showed our youth and our inexperience a little bit as we have the past couple games,” Arcanum coach Matt Grote said. “We had a decent lead there in the third quarter.”
Covington took an early 4-0 lead in Thursday’s game with two quick baskets by Samantha Whiteman.
After going more than four-and-a-half minutes without a point, Arcanum went on a 7-0 run with scoring from Camille Pohl, Kayla O’Daniel and a go-ahead 3-pointer from Elliana Sloan to go up 7-4.
Whiteman added another basket for Covington just before the buzzer as the opening period ended with Arcanum up 7-6.
Just like the first quarter, Arcanum got off to a slow start in the second quarter. This time the Buccaneers diversified their scoring with points from Lillian Hamilton, Jordan Crowell, Tori Lyle and Whiteman to go up 14-7.
“We kind of come and go at times,” Grote said. “That’s how we’ve been so far, and that’s something we’ve been working on. Unfortunately we’re in a stretch of games right now where we play something like eight in 16 days or eight in 17 days so there’s no practice time; it’s all prep for the next game and getting ready to go and refocused.”
With just 2:35 remaining in the second quarter, the Trojans finally broke their scoring drought. They got points from O’Daniel, Lexi Unger and Pohl to close out the half on a 6-2 run and reduce their deficit to 16-13.
After an up-and-down performance in the first half, Arcanum came out of the halftime break with its best play of the night. The Trojans outscored the Buccs 17-7 in the third quarter to turn a 3-point deficit into a 7-point advantage.
Pohl got the Trojans started in the third quarter then Gracie Garno drained a 3-pointer to put them up 18-16. O’Daniel then took control with three baskets – including two treys – before Macey Hartman finished off the period with a pair of baskets.
But as soon as the fourth quarter began, Arcanum hit another cold stretch. Covington started the period on a 10-0 run to regain the lead.
Once again it was Whiteman taking charge. She scored 7 of the Buccs’ 11 fourth quarter points, including the go-ahead basket with 4:30 remaining.
“They got a great player in Whiteman,” Grote said. “They give her the ball down the stretch, and she can just make plays.”
Arcanum was limited to just 2 points in the fourth quarter, both on free throws with less than 90 seconds remaining in the game. The Trojans had a final shot as time expired but fell just short in a 2-point loss.
“Hats off to them on a great game play,” Grote said of Covington. “I wish we’d be able to execute a little bit better right now, but it will come with experience.”
O’Daniel led Arcanum with 12 points in Thursday’s game. Also for the Trojans, Pohl scored 7 points, Garno scored 4, Hartman scored 4, Sloan scored 3, and Unger scored 2.
Whiteman led Covington with a game-high 19 points as the Buccaneers improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the CCC. Also for the Buccs, Hamilton scored 6 points, Crowell scored 5, and Lyle scored 4.
Arcanum will return to action on Saturday with a game at Milton-Union.
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.