Versailles boys basketball moves past Arcanum to advance in tournament; high school boys basketball roundup


By Drew Terhall

DARKE COUNTY — Here are the scores and stats from the high school boys tournament games from Feb. 26-28.

VANDALIA — Versailles sophomore Drake Ahrens scored 16 points in the second half to lead 11th seed Versailles over 14th seed Arcanum, 52-40, in the OHSAA Division III Boys Basketball Southwest Sectional on Feb. 27 at Butler High School.

It was a slow start for both teams as both last played on Feb. 16. Both teams had to adjust on the fly as Arcanum sophomore and team’s leading scorer Regan Christ was out due to an illness.

Versailles head coach Travis Swank said it took time for both teams to adjust to game speed after having practices for almost two weeks.

“Just having a long lay off, had to knock off the rust. Arcanum was in the same boat as us with rust. We figured they were going to come out in zone. Executed it all week and then didn’t really execute out here. We got to figure out a way to do that a little bit better. But, we’re still playing. That’s the most important thing,” Swank said.

The Tigers led 20-17 at halftime. Arcanum hung around with their zone defense, something they haven’t played much, if not at all, this season.

Arcanum head coach Kevin Brackman said he felt good about where the team was at halftime. The team was executing their defensive game plan and packed everything into the zone.

“For us to come out and to execute that defense is something we have not done all year. We’ve never sat in a 2-3. We gave ourselves a little life. We gave ourselves hope and we hung around just like we wanted to,” Brackman said. “We really didn’t know how this was going to go, but we trusted our system and trusted our guys.”

Rebounding was a big key for Versailles to get the win. Players, like senior Carson Heitkamp, were able to crash the boards for the Tigers.

Swank said the gym isn’t a shooter friendly gym, they were going to have many opportunities to get offensive rebounds. Versailles put in the effort to grab those extra chances and cash in on some of them.

The second half was the Drake Ahrens show. Brackman said they emphasized not letting the top of the zone get open for Ahrens to take advantage of. Arcanum, for the most part, kept their hand up and closed any possible passing lanes, until the second half.

Swank said after Ahrens had one point in the first half, the coaching staff challenged him to step up. He also believes Ahrens challenged himself to come out and have a big second half.

“We challenged him at halftime. Drake has high expectations for himself and so does the coaching staff. He probably knew he wasn’t playing his best. We challenged him and I think he challenges himself,” Swank said.

Eleven of Ahrens’ 16 second half points came in the fourth quarter. With him running the offense, they were able to distance themselves from the Trojans and kill some clock along the way.

Arcanum did all they could to stay in the game. They were able to score a few buckets to keep it close at times, but couldn’t stop Versailles’ momentum.

In his final game, senior Brady Lock led with 18 points. Brackman said the seven seniors on the team set the example of what he wants Arcanum basketball to be. While he will miss this group of seniors, he is excited for the future of the program.

“We graduated seven guys last year and we graduate seven guys this year. They stepped into their roles and won 13 good basketball games. In our program, as a first year head coach, they set the foundation for what our future is. We’re excited about our future,” Brackman said. “We were 37-1 between our freshmen and JV teams. We’re excited about that. What those seniors brought to the table everyday to make those young guys better shouldn’t go unnoticed.”

Ahrens finished with 17 points for Versailles. Heitkamp had 13 points and junior Jace Watren had 11 points.

Versailles will take on two seed Indian Lake on March 2 at Butler. Versailles defeated Indian Lake 69-59 on Feb. 13. Swank said he expects this game to be different as both teams already had their tournament slot set and didn’t show much with a possible rematch looming.

A full game recap can be found on our website,

Around the county:

Division IV: 12. Bradford 47 vs 2. Troy Christian 68

The Railroaders season comes to an end in the Southwest sectional to the two seed. It was a close first quarter before Troy Christian pulled away in the second and third quarter. Senior Landon Wills led with 19 points and had 16 rebounds. Senior Hudson Hill had 15 points. The Railroaders end their season with a 13-11 record and a 6-5 WOAC record. The team will graduate Wills, Hill and senior Zane Jones.

Division IV: 8. Franklin Monroe 63 vs 10. Fort Loramie 37

The Jets cruise through Fort Loramie to move on in the Southwest sectional. Franklin Monroe led 30-14 at halftime and held the Redskins to six points in the third quarter. The Jets will take on 10th seed Jackson Center on March 2 at 6 p.m. back at Piqua.

Division IV: 25. Mississinawa Valley 49 vs 3. Cedarville 66

The Blackhawks couldn’t overcome a slow start to get an upset win. They scored 12 points in the first half while both teams scored 35 points in the second half. Freshman Cing Scott led with 23 points. Senior Aron Hunt chipped in 11 points. Mississinawa Valley ends their season with a 3-20 record and a 2-9 WOAC record. They will graduate seniors Hunt, Bryson Gower, Thomas Gower and Tanner Liechty.

Division III: 1. Tri-Village 71 vs 21. Northwestern 26

The Patriots grab another big tournament win as they defeat Northwestern at Northmont. If Tri-Village can get a win over 10th seed Waynesville, they will then have a spot in the District Championship game in Dayton.

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

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