By Drew Terhall
ARCANUM — Slowly but surely, the Tri-Village High School boys’ basketball team won at Arcanum High School, 56-28, on Dec. 16. This was their first game since losing at Dunbar on Dec. 11.
Head coach Josh Sagester said while they were able to make key shots throughout the game, the defense stepped up in this game.
“We made shots. Anytime you hold somebody to 28 points, we’re going to win most basketball games,” Sagester said. “I thought our defensive intensity was pretty good. Overtime, I thought it wore them (Arcanum) down a little bit.”
Arcanum came out in the first quarter fighting to take an early lead. They were able to force turnovers and play great defense.
The Trojans couldn’t get a lead as untimely fouls and some unlucky breaks went against them. They were able to stay within striking distance as they were down, 6-11 after the first quarter.
Senior Dalton Delong was carrying the Patriots to start the game out. He had eight first quarter points.
As the game progressed, Tri-Village started to separate themselves as Arcanum couldn’t find a way to snag a lead. Arcanum head coach Roger McEldowney said games against great competition, like Tri-Village, help his team improve their play.
“I thought our kids played hard. I thought we gave them a little trouble early on,” McEldowney said. “They’re (Tri-Village) good. That’s the kind of team when you play, they make you better. We’ll figure some things out and try to get better.”
In the second quarter, the three-point shot started to become the difference in the game. Freshman Trey Sagester had all nine of his points in the second quarter, all coming from beyond the arc. Junior Braden Keating also chipped in a three during the second quarter.
At halftime, Tri-Village had a 24-12 lead. The Patriots’ press was getting after Arcanum. The Trojans had troubles most of the time with the press. As a result, they started to have untimely turnovers.
Different players for Arcanum were able to knock down some shots. The difference was they couldn’t get enough possessions to keep pace with the Patriots.
Tri-Village grew their lead, 39-24, after the third quarter. Senior Wilson Suggs and Delong each had a big three to help distance themselves from the Trojans.
Arcanum was able to score 12 points in the third, but they were still having trouble with the press. To McEldowney, the Patriots were just the more physical team.
“It was a very physical game. They are more physical than what we are,” McEldowney said.
From there, Keating made a couple of threes in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the Patriots. Sagester said he told Keating to stop playing passive after the first half and be the basketball player he know he is.
For Sagester, the outside shooting has been their biggest asset. Most of the roster can come in and knock down some three-pointers.
“We were able to make some shots with a couple different guys at different times. We’re really skilled top to bottom. Really, it might be one of my best shot-making teams that I’ve had in awhile,” Sagester said.
Keating and Delong both ended the game with 13 points to lead their team. For Arcanum, junior Brady Lock led the team with seven points and senior Nick Sharritts had six points.
Arcanum is now 2-4 on the season with an 0-3 conference record. They will play another conference game as they travel to Mississinawa Valley on Dec. 20.
Tri-Village is now 4-1 on the season with a 3-0 conference record. After a non-conference game at Milton Union, they will travel to Ansonia on Dec. 20 for a WOAC matchup.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]