COVINGTON – Arcanum couldn’t get its offense going on Saturday as the Trojans lost 41-21 to Anna in the opening round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association girls basketball tournament.
“I thought we prepared pretty well for Anna,” Arcanum coach Matt Grote said. “I thought we were ready to go. I thought we did a lot of good things, but in the end you’ve got to put the ball in the basket, and we just weren’t able to do that tonight.”
Saturday’s performance had a familiar feeling to other games throughout the season, Grote said, which tends to happen with a young team like Arcanum.
“We’ve kind of had the same trouble all year,” the Trojan coach said. “Sometimes we just don’t execute. Sometimes we don’t read the defense correctly. With a young squad, I hoped we’d be there by now, but unfortunately we still make some little mistakes.”
Arcanum started the game well with its best scoring output of the day coming in the opening quarter. The Trojans only trailed the Rockets by 3 points, 13-10, at the end of the first quarter.
However, after that strong start Arcanum was only able to add 11 more points the rest of the game.
The Trojans scored 4 in the second quarter and fell behind 26-14. The Rockets increased their lead to 34-19 in the third quarter on their way to a 20-point victory, eliminating Arcanum from the tournament.
Camille Pohl led Arcanum with 6 points in Saturday’s loss. Also for the Trojans, Gracie Garno scored 5 points, Elliana Sloan scored 5, Sydney Artz scored 3, and Kayla O’Daniel scored 2.
Macey Huelskamp led Anna with a game-high 11 points. Also for the Rockets, Emma Freytag scored 7 points, Breah Kuck scored 7, Abby Gaydosh scored 5, Jada Rowland scored 5, Emily Aufderhaar scored 2, Kiplyn Rowland scored 2, and Mackenzie Scully scored 2.
With Saturday’s loss, Arcanum finished the season with a 12-11 record.
“Overall coming in with one senior, really one junior with playing experience, we knew there would be some ups and downs,” Grote said. “We knew we’d probably lose some games we should win and we’d compete with some teams that people might now think we can compete with, and I think that’s pretty much how the season went. We grew up as it went. I think we got better as the season progressed.”
Losing just one senior to graduation, Grote is excited about the potential Arcanum has for next season.
“Anytime you only lose one player, you’re pretty excited about going forward,” he said. “The sophomore class is pretty talented. Our junior class has some good kids that can play. We had a pretty good group at the (junior varsity) level, and our eighth graders coming in they work hard and they want to play. So, yeah, we’re excited about the future.”
The Trojans’ lone senior, Elle Siculan, ended her high school basketball career with Saturday’s game.
“She did a lot of little things,” Grote said. “She didn’t always score, but she did little things that people might not see. She rebounded. She worked hard. She boxed people out, and other people got rebounds. She gave a lot of support to the kids that were there, and she was a big asset to have on this team.”