ARCANUM – On the strength of a dominant defensive effort that permitted just five first half points, Arcanum seized control of this Cross County Conference matchup from the opening moments to defeat Bradford 44-23 Tuesday night.
The Trojans opened the game on a 12-0 run that spanned nearly the entire first quarter until Railroader senior Drew Patty connected for a field goal in the last moment to get his team on the scoreboard and make it a 12-2 score after eight minutes.
“Our intensity and ball pressure was really good from the get go,” Arcanum boys basketball coach Marcus Bixler said. “That kind of set the tone and pushed their offense out a little bit. They do a really nice job of when they can dribble drive the baseline and get some plays. We were able to keep that from happening.”
Bradford could only muster a Josh Phillips basket and a Parker Smith free throw in the second period. The Trojans did little until they closed they quarter on a 9-0 run with seven of the points coming from Andrew Baker to take a 22-5 halftime lead.
“There were about four shots that could have changed the complexity of this game if we could have hit them,” coach Mackenzie Perry of the Railroaders said. “It’s a game about making shots. They made theirs, and we didn’t hit ours. We shot like 26 percent. You’re not going to beat anybody shooting 26 percent. More kudos to them for how they scouted us and how they played defense.”
The game was never really in doubt in the second half. Bradford found some offense scoring seven in the third quarter to trail 35-12, and the Railroaders outscored Arcanum 10-9 in the final period.
Coach Perry was overall happy with the Railroader defensive performance.
“Whole thing is a process,” he said. “We tried to stop what they do best … We tried to limit their 3-ball, which I think we did an excellent job of, but unfortunately you can’t score five points in the first half and have nine turnovers in the first quarter. You’ve got to put both games together.”
Coach Bixler said his team has to be aggressive on offense.
“Has to be attacking for us,” Bixler said. “That’s got to be the mind frame. I’m not concerned with the number of threes that we take, but are they quality and coming out of attacks … Thought tonight we did a good job of attacking then working it from there. Ball movement and unselfishness were pretty good and were able to get ourselves some pretty good looks.”
Even after the loss Coach Perry is still positive.
“I am because last year at 22-5 they would have given up. We would have been down by 40. They did not quit … They believe in each other. They keep pushing each other. They keep working hard. That’s the new Bradford way.”
Andrew Baker led all scorers with 13 points. Cole Burrell and Austin Baker each added 11 for the Trojans while Patty led Bradford with nine points.
With the victory Arcanum is now 4-13 on the year and 2-7 in the CCC. Bradford fell to 2-11 with the defeat and dropped to 0-7 in the CCC.
Bradford – 23
Smith 4, Millhouse 4, Patty 9, Phillips 6.
Arcanum – 44
Kinney 7, Burns 1, Burrell 11, Au Baker 11, Meeks 1, An Baker 13.
3-pointers: Brad: 2(Smith, Patty); Arc: 3(Kinney, Burrell, Au Baker).
Free throws: Brad: 5-7; Arc: 7-13.