ARCANUM – The Arcanum Lady Trojans led by the scoring of Stevie Johnting, 18 points, and Alexis Abner, 16 points, defeated the shorthanded Franklin Monroe Lady Jets 64-21 in Cross County Conference action Thursday evening.
Johnting and Abner were a combined 14 of 19 from the floor and 6 of 6 from the free throw line to pace an Arcanum attack that shot 61.5 percent for the game. FM dressed only seven players for the game with sophomore Josie Miller and junior Hannah Eley unable to play due to injuries.
The Lady Jets opened a quick 4-0 lead that would be short lived. The Lady Trojans would close out the period by turning up the defensive pressure and going on a 14-2 run to close the quarter out with a 14-6 advantage.
“I thought our girls played really hard,” Arcanum girls basketball coach Matt Grote said. “We wanted to stay in position, but we knew we could get after it a little bit. The last couple of games were a little rough, so we really wanted to get up in the passing lanes, make sure we were playing hard but still playing smart at the same time. They took chances when they could and it paid off for them.”
The Lady Trojan defense continued its strong effort and caused the Lady Jets not to score until 1:27 was left in the second quarter. Arcanum had managed to add 13 to its score, so by the time the horn sounded at intermission the score was 34-10 Lady Trojans.
“This year is all about learning and we don’t give up,” FM coach Abbey Moore said. “I told them in the locker room that I’m extremely proud of their effort tonight and they give me their full effort every night. That’s all I’m asking for right now.”
The second half was nearly a mirror image of the first with Arcanum using stingy defense and going on scoring runs. With 1:41 remaining in the third the FM bench got smaller when sophomore Allie Armstrong was injured and had to come out of the game, giving the Lady Jets just one substitute.
“We knew Coach Moore would have them ready,” Coach Grote said. “We knew they would come out and play hard. What we really focused on was things, not necessarily the score, when it came back to us, but on doing things right. The little things like boxing out every single time, not forcing bad shots, catching and looking at the rim, making sure we are going through our reads and doing things right that way. If we do those things then we’ll be happy with that which we did for the most part. There were still missed box outs for sure, we gambled a little bit when we shouldn’t have, maybe stay in position, but you’ll have that from time to time. I think overall we did a good job, and that’s how you learn from victories.”
Coach Moore urged her players to play on in the fourth quarter.
“That’s teaching a life lesson, too,” she said. “That no matter what situation you are in, me personally, I never give up, no matter what I’m doing. That’s what I want to try to get these girls to do, too.”
The victory raises Arcanum’s record to 7-6 and 5-2 in the Cross County Conference while FM goes to 2-10 and 2-5 in the CCC.