By Ryan Berry
ARCANUM – The Arcanum Trojans boys basketball team opened the season with a win over Greenville on Saturday night, 56-38.
Greenville was able to keep within striking distance until midway through the third quarter. Arcanum was up 26-21 going into the break. The Trojans exploded for 17 points in the third quarter while holding the Green Wave to 11 and had an 11-point lead going into the final quarter of the game.
For Arcanum’s young team it was all about the defense and the ability of Nick Sharritts to score from the paint. Roger McEldowney, Arcanum’s head coach, said the Trojan defense was able to keep up with and pressure the Wave’s shooters. “What I really think did it for us was the team effort on defense. They had some guys that could shoot the ball and were pretty athletic. We did a pretty good job of staying in front of them, fighting through screens and contested a lot of shots.” The coach admitted in preseason you’re not sure how good your defense is, “but I thought it was good tonight,” he said.
Matt Hamilton’s Greenville team was undersized in the post when Arcanum’s Sharritts was defending that area. At 6’5”, the Trojan senior had a height advantage over the Wave. That forced the game outside, but Arcanum’s relentless defense was able to limit Greenville to five three-pointers. Seniors Haden Livingston and Jarrod Demange each had two 3’s and sophomore Eric Brenner had one. Livingston led Greenville in scoring with 12 points. Chace Drew and Demange each had 8 points, Drew Hamilton had 7 and Brenner had 3.
Sharritts scored most of his points in the paint and Greenville couldn’t find an answer for the big guy down low. Arcanum’s offense did a great job of putting the ball in his hands. “Our offense did a really nice job of getting it to him (Sharritts) in a position where he could score. He finished it, so that was great to see,” said McEldowney. Sharritts put 30 points on the board for the Trojans, which included going 6 for 8 from the free throw line.
Freshman Regan Christ added 11 points for the Trojans, 9 of which were scored from beyond the arc. Bryson Sharp also added three 3’s for his 9 points on the night. Brady Lock, Rylan Murray and Caden Thompson each had 2 points.
McEldowney added, “It was good to see our freshman (Regan Christ) hit a couple of shots early. He’s going to be a big part of what we do. (Josh) Garno has been out with a foot injury. He’s practiced for a week so we’re spotting him because he plays so doggone hard; it’s hard to play him for more than two or three minutes. (Aiden) Psczulkoski played good. Brady Lock got into a little a bit of foul trouble, which kind of hurt us in the first half, but he played a lot of minutes in the second half and did a really nice job.”
Arcanum will host Western Ohio Athletic Conference rival Preble Shawnee on Friday.
Greenville will get Trojans on back-to-back games as they head to Troy on Tuesday evening. The Wave will start the season with their first three games on the road. On Friday they will travel to Fairborn. They will not have a home game until Dec. 6 when they host Butler.
To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].