By Drew Terhall
ARCANUM — It was a tough battle all the way until the end. But the Arcanum High School girls basketball team came out with a 54-38 win over Franklin Monroe High School on Jan. 19.
The game was closer than what the score would indicate. Franklin Monroe was within ten points of the Lady Trojans and had some momentum. Arcanum head coach Abbey Moore called a timeout midway through the fourth quarter to get her team back on track and not let up their lead.
“I don’t like doing that all the time. I don’t want to put anyone down. But I had to light a fire and they responded after that timeout. It seemed like we turned it around then,” Moore said.
The Lady Jets played a tough and hard game. Just a few mistakes in rebounding led them to being on the losing side of this game. Franklin Monroe head coach Zane Shellabarger said he knew his team would compete at a high level in this game.
“The girls played hard and I knew they would. I got tons of confidence in the girls,” Shellabarger said. “It’s just frustrating. You see them play so hard and work so hard and then give it up on something as crazy as boxing out.”
It was two different quarters in the first half. Arcanum looked to be in control during the first quarter as they were playing great defense to start the game and started to click on offense as the quarter went on.
Franklin Monroe got into foul trouble to start the game. Arcanum ended the first quarter with a 12-5 lead.
But the second quarter was all Franklin Monroe. They were able to get turnovers and not get themselves further into foul trouble. The points they scored in transition helped them inch closer to Arcanum.
The Lady Trojans started to get into foul trouble during the second quarter. They also couldn’t convert on some of their open looks on offense.
Late in the quarter, Franklin Monroe took a lead and kept it going into halftime. Even though Arcanum was down 19-18 at halftime and didn’t have the momentum at the time, Moore felt pretty good about where they were.
“To be honest, going into the locker room, I still felt confident. I still felt good because I knew we got the looks, they just weren’t going in,” Moore said.
It was a battle to start the third quarter. Both teams went back and forth on trying to gain a substantial lead.
Arcanum eventually started to make a few three-point shots to separate themselves from the Lady Jets. By the time the third quarter was over, the Lady Trojans had a 36-26 lead.
Franklin Monroe didn’t blink. They continued to play hard on defense and took advantage of being in the bonus. The Lady Jets were slowly chipping into Arcanum’s lead throughout the fourth quarter.
Then that’s when the timeout by Moore was called and the Lady Trojans closed the game out. Arcanum made eight three-point shots in the game. They proved to be momentum killers for Franklin Monroe.
“They hit a couple big threes. I felt like we kind of would get a little bit of momentum and then they would, credit to them, have a girl knock one down and take the air out of our sails. We were swimming up hill at that point,” Shellabarger said.
For Franklin Monroe, they did not make a three in the game.
Junior Ashyln Miller was the main threat from beyond the arc. Miller made four three pointers. Four other players each made one three pointer.
Miller led all scorers with 18 points. Sophomores Alexis Gibbons and Brooke Anderson each had 11 points. For Franklin Monroe, senior Jaliyah Nichols led them in points with 12.
Moore said she hopes the team can gain confidence by winning a game like this. They were down at halftime and couldn’t put a team away until late in the game. Wins like this can help a team be better prepared for the tournament.
With the postseason coming soon, Moore said she is excited to be the underdog and see what this team can do. To her, the team hasn’t reached their full potential. Moore wants to have her team playing their best basketball once the tournament begins.
The Lady Trojans are now 6-11 on the season with a 5-4 conference record. They will host Middletown Madison on Jan. 24 for an out of conference game. The Lady Jets are now 3-14 on the season with a 1-7 conference record. They will host Fort Recovery on Jan. 21 before hosting Bradford on Jan. 24 for a WOAC matchup.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]