BRADFORD – In its first game in two weeks, Arcanum had some rust, but the Lady Trojans were able to overcome that as they beat Bradford 36-25 to start 2018 on a positive note.
The Cross County Conference game at Bradford was Arcanum’s first action since it beat Twin Valley South by 20 points on Dec. 28. The long layoff caused some issues, Arcanum girls basketball coach Matt Grote said, especially early in Thursday’s game.
“First game of the new year, first time we’ve played since Dec. 28 so, yeah, a little rusty to start, I’d say,” Grote said. “Got things together, came out and I was just glad we were able to hang on and put them away.”
It took Arcanum almost three minutes to score against Bradford with Kayla O’Daniel scoring the Trojans’ first points of the new year. Down 4-2 midway through the quarter, Arcanum finally was able to get its offense going with a 7-0 run led by O’Daniel and Camille Pohl.
At the end of the opening quarter, Arcanum was up 9-6.
In the second quarter Arcanum continued to add to its advantage behind scoring from O’Daniel and Gracie Garno. The Trojans scored the final 6 points of the period to lead 19-10 entering halftime.
Bradford struggled to get its offense in rhythm throughout the night. It took almost 13 minutes of game action for someone other than Skipp Miller to score for the Railroaders when after Miller scored the team’s first 8 points of the night, fellow freshman Emma Canan sank two free throws for Bradford.
“We know we’re capable of it,” Bradford coach Patrick McKee said of his team’s offense. “Two days ago we had two girls over 10, the next two girls had 8, and I believe the next girl had 7 so we know we have plenty of capable girls. It’s just doing a few things right and hitting some open shots. We had some girls take some open shots tonight that just didn’t go.”
Arcanum further increased its lead in the third quarter, leading by as many as 19 points late in the quarter. O’Daniel, who finished the night with a game-high 22 points, was the main beneficiary of the Trojans’ offensive success.
McKee said Bradford struggled with its defensive responsibilities, especially on the inside against O’Daniel.
“O’Daniel did a nice job of taking advantage of that,” McKee said. “She got in the middle of the paint a lot. They shot 50 percent. They made 14 shots in the paint, and that was a lot of their offense.”
Miller scored the final 4 points of the third quarter to make it 34-19 entering the fourth quarter. The Railroaders then outscored the Trojans 6-2 in the fourth quarter to get closer, but Arcanum held on for an 11-point win.
“They just kept fighting back,” Grote said of Bradford. “Credit to them. They didn’t give up the whole game and played hard.”
O’Daniel led Arcanum with her game-high 22 points, Pohl scored 7 points, Garno scored 5, and Macey Hartman scored 2.
“Kayla has been playing well,” Grote said. “She runs the floor well. She gets around the rim. She started knocking down some outside shots, too. One of the best things is the kids shared the ball. The passed it. They weren’t selfish. It’s good to see the ball moving around.”
Miller led Bradford with 18 points. Also for the Railroaders, Canan scored 3 points, Chelsea Gill scored 3, and Bianca Keener scored 1.
Arcanum improved to 7-7 overall and 5-2 in the CCC with Thursday’s win while Bradford fell to 6-7 overall and 3-5 in the league.
Arcanum will play host to Franklin Monroe on Saturday while Bradford will travel to Houston on Saturday.
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.