Mississinawa Valley girls basketball win seventh straight; get road win over Arcanum


By Drew Terhall


ARCANUM — The Lady Blackhawks are soaring. Mississnawa Valley High School girls basketball team defeated Arcanum High School, 57-42, on the road on Jan. 9 for their seventh straight win. Their last lost was on Dec. 5 against a now 11-1 Parkway High School team.

Mississinawa Valley head coach Michael Paige said in this game and in their last game against Twin Valley South, they have played better as a team. This could help them be more ready for the tournament when the time comes.

“We got a great team effort tonight. Obviously Taylee and Syenna, our two leading scorers, didn’t lead us in scoring tonight. Which means our team is getting better every game,” Paige said.

The Lady Blackhawks jumped out to an early lead and really didn’t play from behind. They had an 18-11 lead after the first quarter. Nine of those Mississinawa Valley points were scored by junior Mackenzea Townsend.

Mississinawa Valley was flustering Arcanum from the jump. Their speed allowed them to find easy points and allowed them to get turnovers on defense with their press. It seemed like Mississinawa Valley was one step ahead of Arcanum.

That trend continued to start the second quarter. The Blackhawks went on a run and extended their lead into double figures. But Arcanum did what they have all season long, they kept fighting and hung around.

Arcanum head coach Abbey Moore said she was proud of her team’s efforts and for staying engaged even after getting off to a slow start. They were able to gain some confidence on the court after not giving up when the Lady Blackhawks seemed to be taking over the game.

“Once we took a deep breathe and realized it was pretty easy to break their press, that allowed for some easy buckets in transition to get us going. Once a few fell, then we were able to have the confidence to keep going,” Moore said.

At halftime, Mississinawa Valley had a 36-25 lead. Arcanum was able to chip it down from almost a 20-point deficit to only an 11-point deficit.

The second half was similar to the second quarter. The Lady Blackhawks would go back on a run and then the Lady Trojans would fight back to close the gap.

Paige said he knew Arcanum would keep playing hard for all four quarters and they would finish the game strong. There was a few timeouts called by him to teach his team about how to deal with some in-game situations and calm his team down.

For Arcanum, they couldn’t dig themselves out of the hole they created for themselves to start the game. All of the efforts on defense to contain the Mississinawa Valley defense led to some tired players. The Lady Blackhawks were able to take advantage of a tired group and race out to another big lead again and again.

“When you put yourself in situations to have to come back from big leads like that, it takes a lot of energy,” Moore said. “Therefore, you have some lapses on defense and that just allows them to go on another run.”

The effort on defense was worth it. They held Mississinawa Valley sophomore Taylee Woodbury to five points. Woodbury averages 16.8 points a game entering the game.

Moore said her senior guard Kaitlyn Toy and her help side defense did a great job to contain a great player in Woodbury.

It was the offense that shows there’s still work to be done. Moore said her team has to learn to take what the defense gives them and see the floor better. She also said the team keeps making too many mistakes and aren’t quite learning from them yet.

The Arcanum offense showed flashes on offense to keep the game from getting out of reach, but Mississinawa Valley was able to go on another run late to get the 15-point win.

For the Lady Trojans, sophomore Alexis Gibbons led the team with 16 points. Sophomore Brooke Anderson was close behind with nine points.

For the Lady Blackhawks, senior Jocelyn Hoggat led the team with 18 points. She had 13 points in the first half. Junior Brenna Price reached double-digit points with 10.

It’s an encouraging sign for the Lady Blackhawks that they were able to take care of business with their offense without their top scorers being a big factor. There’s still room to grow for this team.

“We’ve yet had a game where we had Taylee, Syenna, Jocelyn all of them just hitting shots. We’re getting better every game as a team, but we still haven’t hit our full potential yet,” Paige said.

Mississinawa Valley is now 11-2 with a 5-1 conference record. After hosting Ansonia, they will travel to Bradford on Jan. 12 at 7:15 p.m.

Arcanum is now 4-9 with a 3-4 conference record. They will host Twin Valley South on Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. and then play a road game at Versailles on Jan. 14 at 1 p.m.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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