ARCANUM – The Arcanum Lady Trojans overcame a strong defensive effort by Brookville and below average shooting to subdue the Lady Blue Devils 41-33 Monday evening.
The Lady Trojans knew that points could be at a premium when they faced Brookville. The Lady Blue Devils came into the game as the third ranked defense in the Southwestern Buckeye League, allowing only 34.7 points per game. Their stinginess was even greater over the past nine games by allowing 30.7 points per game in which they had won six of those contests.
Arcanum could only shoot 15 of 39 from the floor for 38.5 percent. Included in that were 5 of 15 from behind the 3-point line.
“They work really hard on defense,” Lady Trojan basketball coach Matt Grote said. “Their big girls really get after it. We didn’t shoot very well and part of that goes to them definitely.”
Arcanum’s defense was not to be outdone on this night. The Trojans allowed seven points in the first quarter and held Brookville at seven while adding 10 points to their score to move out to a 16-7 lead in the early portion of the second period. The Lady Devils then put up six unanswered points by seniors Jordann Gudorf and Allie Conry, who would score all the Brookville points in the half. When intermission came the Lady Trojans led 19-13.
“They really screen and roll very well,” Coach Grote said. “They go to the hole, and they finish. They got to the hole, and they didn’t miss a whole lot down there. They put up some tough shots, and they made them, and when they didn’t they got fouled and went to the foul line.”
The third quarter showed the offensive contrast of the game. Five Arcanum players scored in the period while out of the Brookville 22 points all but two were scored by Gudorf and Conry. The Lady Trojans won the quarter 12-9 to have a 31-22 advantage heading into the final eight minutes.
Arcanum had not allowed a 3-point basket throughout the game until fourth period. All three would turn out to be big.
Gudorf nailed a trey just under 7:00 minutes remaining to cut the Lady Trojan lead to 31-25. Unfortunately for Brookville she would be injured at the 6:27 mark and was forced to the bench for some time.
Just as the game seemed to be slipping away, a fourth Lady Blue Devil made the scorebook. Alayna Miller sank a triple to bring Brookville within seven at 37-30 with 2:55 left.
The Lady Devils began to foul to reach the bonus to put Arcanum on the line and at 43.7 seconds Alexis Abner hit two free throws to increase the lead to 39-30. Bailey Pennington then knocked in a three to pull Brookville within six at 39-33.
After the Lady Devils final timeout Arcanum turned the ball over trying to inbound the ball. Brookville had two 3-point opportunities but neither would fall.
Abner again was fouled and calmly went to the line and made two free throws with 19.3 seconds remaining to make the final score 41-33.
“Huge,” Coach Grote said of Abner’s free throws. “Senior point guard starting for her fourth year. We expect that from her. She does it. That’s why she has the ball. Definitely.”
The Lady Trojans have been working hard this past week, and the work has paid off with three straight victories.
“We’re really working on our offense on sharing the ball when to drive when to shoot,” Coach Grote said. “Really focused on us this last week making sure we knew what was going on and making sure the girls aware of what to do. It’s really paying off. We’re moving the ball better and attacking the basket better.”
Brookville placed two players in double figures – Gudorf with a game-high 15 and Conry added 10. Arcanum also had two in double digits as Abner had 12 and Johnting scored 10.
The victory elevates the Arcanum record to 9-6 overall and 5-2 in the Cross County Conference. The loss drops Brookville to 6-8, 2-5 in the SWBL.
Arcanum won the junior varsity game 35-26.
Brookville – 33
Boston 2, Miller 3, Pennington 3, Gudorf 15, Conry 10.
Arcanum – 41
Siculan 3, Abner 12, Johnting 10, Unger 5, Kinney 5, Deao 6.
3-pointers: Brk: 3 (Miller, Pennington, Gudorf); Arc: 5(Siculan, Abner, Johnting, Unger, Kinney).
Free throws: Brk: 4-8; Arc: 6-11.