GREENVILLE – Arcanum came out strong Saturday night, but Greenville’s size and athleticism was too much for the Trojans as the Green Wave won 64-46 in the battle of Darke County squads.
Playing in their third game in four days, the Trojans didn’t show any signs of fatigue as they came out strong right away. Austin Baker, Wade Meeks and Cole Burrell each hit a 3-pointer in the opening period to help Arcanum build a 17-14 first quarter lead.
“We’ve been pretty good (offensively) most of the year,” Arcanum boys basketball coach Marcus Bixler said. “I think tonight we were 46 percent from the field, which you know is good. In the first quarter we were blistering.
“We did some really good things, I thought, especially early on. We had struggled defensively a lot of the year, the last three games probably in particular, and tonight we did some really good things.”
The first quarter was the lowest scoring quarter of the night for Greenville.
“I tell this to anybody who will listen, Marcus is one of the best defensive coaches around,” Greenville coach Mike Bashore said. “So they were well prepared for us. His kids play extremely hard. They box out well. They do all the little things. That’s what Marcus does so well as a coach. He teaches those kinds of things. He’s great at what he does. But when Isaiah (Gable) is 6 foot 6 that’s a match up problem for anybody. Clay (Guillozet) being 6-3. When you don’t have a lot of height we’re hard to guard. But I tip my hat to them. They played hard, and they made shots early on. We knew they were going to do that. We just kind of weathered the storm a little bit. Like you said, I think our athleticism kind of won out in the end.”
Greenville’s size and athleticism really started to show in the second quarter when the Green Wave outscored the Trojans 16-4 to go into halftime up 30-21.
“They did a nice job with a couple duck-ins on us, got a couple dribble-penetration, and I think they got two offensive rebounds if I remember early in the second quarter and got put-back and ones,” Bixler said. “That hurt us a little bit.”
In addition to picking up offensively, the second quarter also proved to be the best defensive quarter of the night for Greenville.
“I thought the key tonight for us was two kids, Trae Wood defensively and Braden Russell,” Bashore said. “Two kids that don’t do a lot offensively, but they buy into what we’re doing defensively. We really struggled in that first quarter defensively. And those kids kind of came in when we had some foul trouble.”
In the third quarter Arcanum bounced back offensively and cut into Greenville’s lead, making it a 47-37 game entering the fourth quarter.
But Greenville continued to play well and in the fourth quarter pulled ahead even more, winning by 18 points, 64-46.
Gable led Greenville with a game-high 27 points in Saturday’s victory. Also for the Wave, Guillozet scored 12 points, Aaron Rich scored 12, Wood scored four, Russell scored three, Devin Hendrix scored two, Yuta Nakamura scored two, and Peter Pandey scored two.
For Guillozet, the reigning Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division player of the year, it was his first game back after missing three games with an ankle injury.
“We didn’t want to risk too much with that,” Bashore said. “We were just more or less trying to get him some game activity for the league games coming up next week. Still being in first place in the league next Friday (against Piqua) is huge for us so we were just trying to get him a couple games under his belt before we turn him loose next Friday. And he had a little rust, which is natural, but I think he had a nice little stretch there in the third quarter where he got going a little bit.
“What’s good for us is we have another guy just as capable in Isaiah, who played really well in the second half – once I convinced him that he’s just supposed to keep shooting. He did really well in the second half. That kid is fantastic. Most of the time when we go out and play we have the two best players on the floor so it helps. A lot of people can’t shut them both down.”
Andrew Baker led Arcanum with 15 points on Saturday. Also for the Trojans, Burrell scored 13 points, Austin Baker scored nine, Meeks scored six, Brandon Riffell scored two, and Brandon Kinney scored one.
Bixler was really proud of how his team came out and competed against a really tough Greenville squad, he said.
“We came out and we were much more energetic, intense and were able to jump on them early there, which is huge for us if for nothing else just in terms of the confidence built for the guys,” he said. “They knew they could play. I’m proud of them.”
Greenville improved to 4-2 with Saturday’s win while Arcanum fell to 2-8. Greenville will return to action on Tuesday with a home game against Fairborn while Arcanum will play host to Tri-Village on Friday.
“It sets us up for everything going forward here in the last 12 or so games,” Bixler said of Saturday’s game against Greenville. “We play games like this, we play the Fort Recoverys and Coldwaters. We do that for a reason. We do it for, one, we get a great atmosphere like we did here tonight. There was tons of people here. It was great for our kids to be part of that. And you do it because you know at some point in time things are going to get difficult. You can go back to games like this against a very good Greenville team where we handled it so you know we can handle other situations that are going to come about.”