ARCANUM – With just 17.3 seconds remaining in its first scrimmage against West Liberty-Salem on Wednesday Arcanum made a game-tying basket and then made what turned out to be the game-winning free throw.
The victory in a summer scrimmage isn’t all that important, but Arcanum boys basketball coach Marcus Bixler was glad to see his team have an opportunity to practice that situation, which could be the difference between a win and a loss when it matters next winter.
“It’s good to have situations,” Bixler said. “Even in the summer getting into game situations I think is important, and we were able to get ourselves into some game situations. It’s something we practice all the time. It’s how do we handle the end of games. We know what we’re doing offensively, we know what we’re trying to do defensively so it’s just a fun thing to get to execute. You don’t do that in an open gym so to have that opportunity and things like this it helps out a lot.”
Arcanum hosted West Liberty-Salem and Emmanuel Christian in a three-team scrimmage Wednesday afternoon. The Trojans have had other scrimmages this summer and also went to shootouts at Bluffton University and Wittenberg University. They’ll wrap up their summer program this weekend with a trip to Ohio Northern University.
Throughout all the summer activities Bixler’s main focus is getting the Trojans to compete.
“Our biggest thing this summer has just been to consistently compete,” he said. “When things aren’t going well having the ability to work through some things, show some grit and then when things are make sure you’re handling it the right way and make sure that you can still focus. We’ve improved tremendously just in terms of competing every possession, and that’s been great for us. We’ve gotten better defensively, we’ve gotten better offensively, but most importantly for me we’re just competing.”
This month’s activities also have provided Arcanum an opportunity to implement some new schemes that they’ll use next winter.
“We’ve changed a few things in what we’re trying to do really on both ends of the floor,” Bixler said. “So making those adjustments and getting used to that I think is always going to be a challenge.”
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.