NEW LEBANON – Arcanum dominated the first half of a girls and boys basketball doubleheader at Dixie on Saturday with the Lady Trojans winning 60-25.
The Trojans had a more skilled team but their greater depth really helped them out in the second half when they just wore out the Greyhounds. Dixie had a good second quarter to close the gap with the Trojans, but its momentum withered in the last half.
It was 26-15 at halftime, and it looked like Dixie could keep it close. But the Trojans came out strong and ended up with a resounding win 60-25, scoring another 34 points while allowing just 10.
Arcanum’s Stevie Johnting helped get her team’s strong run started in both the first quarter and again after the break in the third quarter. She had back-to-back 3-pointers to start the game and would score a total of 19 points on the night.
And in the third quarter Arcanum turned up its defense when the Trojans returned to the court. The turnovers were converted to points as Johnting scored on three layups in the first few minutes of the quarter.
The a fore mentioned team depth lead to the teams second-leading scorer. This was Kayla O’Daniel, who plays some reserve and some varsity. She made the most of her second half varsity minutes with a total of 12 points in the third and fourth quarters. So the team did not lose much when it went to its bench.
Coach Matt Grote would later remark that the team seemed to relax in the second quarter. This allowed Dixie to go on a little run in the last half of the second quarter.
But at halftime, whatever was said woke the team up from its slumber and the Trojans turned up the intensity on defense. From that point their press and half-court defense ripped turnovers from Dixie and scored points.
“It was a fun atmosphere here at Dixie,” Grote said. “We brought two buses over for all the boys and girls teams. It was great to be part of this event. As for the game we knew that Dixie would be physical, and we prepared for that. It would have been nice to have a bigger lead at the end of the first half, but we responded in the second half. It was just getting the girls focused on doing the little things right. Boxing out and rotating on defense were two big things.
“We are happy that Stevie is getting a chance to play at the next level at Cedarville. She runs the floor well for us; she finishes; she shoots. It is great to have her on the team. Kayla’s role on the JV team is to be a scorer. So when we bring her to get varsity minutes she can score, and that is what she did tonight.”
Johnting scored 19 points, Kayla O’Daniel 12, Madi O’Daniel 8, Gracie Garno 7, Brittany Kinney 3, McKenzie Sharritts 3, Ellie Siculan 3, Kaitlyn Zell 3 and Macy Hartman 2.
Next week Arcanum returns to league play with games against Bradford and Franklin Monroe.
The junior varsity game was a lopsided affair where Arcanum took the lead and did not look back. The Trojans only allowed 1 point by the host Dixie team at halftime. Arcanum meanwhile scored 30 points and would tack on another 21 by game’s end. Dixie’s reserves did get into double figures but would only score 11.