ARCANUM – It was cold outside, but the Arcanum Lady Trojans warmed up in a hurry racing out to a 28-13 first half lead over Twin Valley South and then turned in a solid second half on their way to a 51-31 Cross County Conference win over the Panthers.
Elle Siculan started the game with a bang from beyond the arch, but South answered with a fielder from Mylan Crews and a triple from Abby Bingham to give the Panthers a 5-3 lead.
With the scored tied at 7, Lexi Unger hit a deep 3-pointer from the corner to put Arcanum back on top 10-7, and moments later the Trojans went up 12-7 on drive to the basket from Kayla O’Daniel.
Twin Valley South, however, didn’t go away and closed the gap to 12-11 on the play of Crews who was successful penetrating inside, scoring 6 points in the first quarter.
Arcanum finished the first quarter strong with 5 points from Gracie Garno to lead 17-11.
O’Daniel scored 6 points in the second quarter and 10 for the first half to help the Trojans to a 28-13 lead at the break.
“It was awesome to put the ball in the basket for a change,” Arcanum girls basketball coach Matt Grote said. “We’ve struggled to shoot some in the past, but we’ve been putting the ball in the basket a lot better the last few games, and that takes a lot of the pressure off us.”
After giving up 11 points in the first quarter, the Trojans defense stymied South, giving up just 2 points in the second quarter.
“Defensively we made an adjustment, and the kids responded great and kept her (Mylan Crews) out of the paint. She definitely got to the hole a lot in the first quarter and scored more than we wanted, but our defense got the job done the rest of the way,” Grote said.
Arcanum showed a lot of patience in the third quarter, running the offense and playing well in the half court with O’Daniel again leading the way with 6 points and matched by Macey Hartman as the Trojans expanded their lead to 42-22 heading into the final stanza.
“Macey Hartman probably played the best game I’ve seen. She performed well tonight,” Grote said.
The two teams played to a 9-9 tie in the fourth quarter as the Trojans cruised to a 51-31 win.
“One of the things we’ve been talking a lot about in practice and working on is cutting down on mistakes and learning how to play with a lead and not letting the other team back in the game. Once we had the lead we did a good job of sustaining it by making good decisions and taking care of the ball down the stretch,” Grote said.
The Trojans were led by O’Daniel with 16 points and Hartman with 12.
Arcanum improved to 6-7 overall and 4-2 in the conference. The Trojans have a long break and won’t be back in action until Jan. 8 when they host Dixie.
“It always nice to get a win, especially over the Christmas break, and we are looking forward to the layoff with Camille Pohl being out and some of our girls under the weather so now we can try and get healthy and get ready to go next year,” Grote concluded.
Score by quarters
TVS … 11 … 02 … 09 … 09 – 31
AR ….. 17 … 11 … 14 … 09 – 51
TV South – Mylan Crews 14, Taylor Bowers 2, Abby Bingham 3, Abby Robertson 2, MyKenzie Neal 2, Kelsie Shafer 8, Totals – 1-9-10/17 – 31
Arcanum – Elliana Sloan 5, Elle Siculan 3, Kayla O’Daniel 16, Gracie Garno 7, Lexi Unger 8, Macey Hartman 12 – Totals – 5-13-7/9 – 51