GETTYSBURG – Arcanum, using a ball-attacking man-to-man defense and balanced team scoring, turned out the lights on the senior night celebration at National Trail High School Friday evening by defeating the Trail Blazers 58-36 in the Cross County Conference finale for both teams.
The Trojans began the game very energetically, especially, on the defensive end. Arcanum simply did not allow National Trail to run its offense the way the Blazers wanted to or to get the shots that they liked. While not having great success themselves offensively, five Trojans did manage to score in the period to give them a 12-4 lead after one period.
The aggressiveness that gave them the lead came with a price for Arcanum. The Trojans committed their seventh team foul with 7:07 left in the half, allowing National Trail to shoot free throws for the remainder of the quarter.
By the period’s end the Trojans had 10 fouls whistled against them, causing them serious foul problems. Four starters – Brandon Kinney, Devin Burns, Austin Baker and Andrew Baker – had two personal fouls each and had to sit for the rest of the half.
This caused Coach Marcus Bixler to use some different combinations of players. Five bench players would see minutes during the second period, some of them junior varsity call-ups.
“We’re very fortunate that we do everything the same way,” Coach Bixler said. “So if we have to bring guys in situations like that it’s nothing new. They’re used to it. We had some kids come in and give us some really big minutes, and to go into the locker room up 14 with what we had second quarter foul-wise, I was tickled to death.”
The Trojans’ bench not only ate up minutes but scored 14 of the 19 points in the second quarter while still limiting the Blazers to 13 to take a 31-17 lead at the intermission.
Arcanum wasted little time jumping into full-throttle mode to begin the third quarter. By 6:50 remaining the Trojans had upped the lead to 37-17 thanks to three points each from Austin and Andrew Baker, forcing National Trail to call timeout to try and stop the momentum, but it was too late. The Arcanum lead would never again drop below 20 points the rest of the game.
“Against their zone early we put the ball on the floor way too much,” Bixler said. “We didn’t pass the ball with any sharpness. The ball didn’t move quickly enough, and they were able to stand. We didn’t play well. Starting in the third quarter we did a much better job of moving the basketball. Very crisp and as a result good looks. We were able to get some stops that led to some key transition opportunities.”
Wade Meeks led the Trojan scoring attack with 15 points while Austin Baker and Cole Burrell had 10 each and Andrew Baker added nine. Senior Dylan Haas led the Blazers with seven.
Arcanum improved to 7-14 on the season and concluded CCC play with a 4-8 mark with a game against Preble Shawnee remaining Saturday night. National Trail finished its season at 5-17 with a 3-9 record in the CCC.
Arcanum won the junior varsity game 63-18.
Arcanum – 58
Kinney 4, Burns 2, Burrell 10, Au Baker 10, Meeks 15, E Atchley 4, Riffell 4, An Baker 9.
National Trail – 36
Hurd 4, Harrison 4, Thompson 4, Haas 7, Eyler 5, Boggs 3, Haws 4, Mason 5.
3-pointers: Arc: 5(Burrell, Au Baker 2, Meeks 2); NT: 4(Eyler, Boggs, Haas 2).
Free throws: Arc: 11-16; NT: 10-13.