ARCANUM – Arcanum got its first win of the season on Friday, defeating Ansonia 47-28 in a Cross County Conference boys basketball game.
While Arcanum played well Friday night, it was the Trojans’ practice and preparation beginning Monday that led to their victory, coach Marcus Bixler said.
“I thought we competed in practice four days,” the Arcanum coach said. “We were well prepared, and there was a little more focus, a little more intensity leading up to it. I was really excited. These guys got rewarded with that because it was won Monday to Thursday for us, and that’s something that hadn’t happened for us this year.”
The game started off close with neither team leading by more than 3 points the entire first quarter. Ansonia held the advantage for most of the opening period, but a late 3-pointer by Wills Troutwine put Arcanum up 10-9 – a lead the Trojans held the rest of the night.
Arcanum started the second quarter on a 7-0 run, which helped propel the Trojans to a 22-16 halftime lead.
“You have to give them a lot of credit; they had a nice game plan,” Ansonia coach Chad Cramer said. “They really forced us into some drives and took away some baskets.”
Ansonia had just three players score in the first half as Arcanum limited the Tigers’ opportunities.
“We came out and were able to pressure them, caused some turnovers and be able to do so with limited help,” Bixler said. “It’s a team that around (Hunter) Muir and around (Devyn) Sink they put a bunch of shooters so you’ve got to be able to close out to the shooters and not let them just sit out there and catch and shoot. So to do that you’ve got to kind of pick poison with help and doing things and our guys they executed very well what we were trying to do.”
In the third quarter Ansonia was able to reduce its deficit but still trailed 30-25 entering the fourth quarter.
The final period was all Arcanum as the Trojans outscored the Tigers 17-3 with all of Ansonia’s points coming off free throws as the game ended with a 47-28 Arcanum victory.
“We were unselfish,” Bixler said of his team’s play. “That’s exactly where it started.”
Devin Burns led Arcanum with 12 points in Friday’s victory. Also for the Trojans, Carter Gray scored 10 points, Wade Meeks scored 9, Devan Atchley scored 6, Brandon Kinney scored 5, Troutwine scored 3, and Andrew Baker scored 2.
Sink led Ansonia with a game-high 13 points. Also for the Tigers, Muir scored 8 points, Brayden Swabb scored 3, Trevor Alexander scored 2, and Kane Kimmel scored 2.
“We’ve got to get Aydan (Sanders) healthy,” Cramer said. “He got hurt last Friday night. He didn’t practice all week. We need our full complement of guys. That’s a start. And then I think it was a physical defense put on us. We just need to handle that a little better.”
Arcanum improved to 1-7 overall and 1-4 in the CCC with Friday’s win while Ansonia fell to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the league.
“We’ve had a good start,” Cramer said. “A little bit of a step back tonight but that’s why you play 22 games.”
Ansonia will play at Russia on Saturday, and Arcanum will travel to Dixie on Saturday.
“We’re going to come in and we’ll do the same things we tried to do tonight,” Bixler said. “We’ll try to pressure and try to get in and see if we can be as physical as we can.”