ARCANUM – The Arcanum Lady Trojans overwhelmed visiting Bradford Thursday with stifling defense in a 53-20 Cross County Conference win.
They say offense wins games … but defense wins championships, and Arcanum subscribed to that theory by only giving up 2 first quarter points and shutting Bradford out completely in the third period.
On the strength of its defense Arcanum took a 14-2 first quarter lead led by Elle Siculan, who scored all 9 of her points in the frame.
“I called a timeout when we were down 10-2 and told the girls the difference between them and us is they are executing offense until they get the shot they want, and we are just coming down and forcing things. I always tell them there is no shot clock in high school girls basketball,” Bradford girls basketball coach Patrick McKee said.
In the second period the Railroaders settled in and ran a little more offense to generate 9 points with Chelsea Gill scoring 7 for Bradford.
“We had a couple dribble hand-offs,” McKee said. “We dribble penetrated and when they over helped defensively we found a girl in the corner who knocked down the shot, and that’s basketball. When you move the ball, you move people, get them out of position and take advantage of it; that’s how you run offense.”
Arcanum got two triples from McKenzie Sharritts in the second quarter to help the Trojans run out to a 27-11 halftime lead.
“We prepared hard for Bradford and knew they would be a challenge,” Arcanum coach Matt Grote said. “They are a lot better than the score indicated. We had a good idea of what they would try to do, and our girls stepped up to the challenge. They only had 2 in the first quarter and 11 at the half.”
Arcanum got 6 points from Stevie Johnting in the third period to lead Arcanum to a 41-11 advantage.
Once again it was the defense that shined for the Trojans with a shutout in the quarter.
“Were halfway through the season, and it’s time to start figuring out our rotations a little bit more, giving people roles and getting ready for tournament,” Grote said. “I like it when we sub, we keep girls fresh, we get after it on defense, wear teams down, and that takes pressure off us, not having to worry about scoring so much.”
Bradford matched its second quarter effort with 9 more points in the final stanza but it wasn’t near enough to catch up with Arcanum as the Trojans secured the 53-20 victory.
“Hats off to Arcanum, they came out and played good defense and kept it in fifth gear all night while we were stuck in second gear,” McKee said. “From the tip, they were ready to go and kept that pace, energy and enthusiasm for the entire game, and we didn’t match it.”
“We played really well tonight,” Grote said. “We have been getting after it in practice, and it shows. It all starts with defense. We know if we want to go anywhere in the tournament, it starts with solid defense.”
Arcanum had balanced scoring with Sharritts leading the way with 11 points, Johnting and Siculan 9 points each and Kayla O’Daniel with 8.
Bradford got 10 points from Gill to lead the Roaders.
Score by quarters:
Arcanum … 14 … 13 … 14 … 12 – 53
Bradford … 02 … 09 … 00 … 09 – 20
Siculan 9, K. O’Daniel 8, Pohl 2, Johnting 9, Garno 4, Sharritts 11, Kinney 4, M. O’Daniel 4
Totals: 7-12-8/15 – 53
Gill 10, Hart 2, Bates 4, Booker 2, Keener 2
Totals: 1-5-5/14 – 20