ARCANUM – Arcanum lost three all-Cross County Conference honorees from last year’s team but still has a lot of experience returning this season.
The Arcanum girls lost Alexis Abner and Rebecca Deao, both of whom were second team all-CCC, and Abby Ross, who was special mention all-CCC, to graduation.
Despite losing so much talent, Arcanum girls basketball coach Matt Grote said experience will be one of the Lady Trojans’ strengths this year. Forwards Stevie Johnting and Brittany Kinney both are entering their fourth year of varsity basketball. Forward Madison O’Daniel, guard McKenzie Sharritts and forward Kaitlyn Zell all are entering their third year of varsity basketball while guard Elle Siculan is entering her second year on the varsity roster.
Of the six returning lettermen five are seniors: Johnting, Kinney, O’Daniel, Sharritts and Zell. Siculan is a junior.
“Having six returning letter winners, we will be relying on experience and senior leadership,” Grote said.
Johnting, who is committed to play college basketball at Cedarville University, is Arcanum’s top returning player having earned first team all-CCC honors last year. During her junior season she led Arcanum with 13.7 points per game while also contributing 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists a game.
Sharritts averaged 5.0 points a game last year while Madison O’Daniel averaged 3.3 points. Madison O’Daniel also is the team’s top leading rebounder, having averaged 3.1 a game last year.
One of the biggest difficulties Arcanum will face this season is incorporating its young players into its experienced roster. Sophomore forward Macey Hartman plus freshman guard Gracie Garno, freshman forward Kayla O’Daniel and freshman forward Camille Pohl all are joining the varsity roster this year.
“It will take time to gel as a team,” Grote said.
With several players on the roster who are capable of scoring from the outside, Arcanum will look to score more with its guards than it did last year.
“Last year we made a conscious effort to get the ball inside and really play inside-out,” Grote said. “This season we are still looking to get the ball inside, but also have been working on attacking the basket with our experienced guards.”
Last year Arcanum went 9-3 in the CCC. The Trojans will look to build on that success this season.
“This season our team is focused is being able to ‘do your job,’” Grote said. “Being my second year as head coach here at Arcanum, program expectations are not new anymore. We really want the players to understand what we are trying to do on offense and defense and then execute their jobs to the best of their ability.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.
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