SIDNEY – A nip-and-tuck beginning to Saturday’s game gave way to Arcanum controlling the second half on its way to a 57-39 win at Lehman Catholic.
Through the first 15 minutes of Saturday’s game neither team led by more than 3 points, but Arcanum scored the final 7 points of the first half to take a 27-21 lead into the halftime break. That cushion was enough for the Trojans as they led throughout the entire second half then pulled away in the fourth quarter.
“This was a great bounce-back game for us after a tough one on Thursday night at Tri-Village,” Arcanum girls basketball coach Matt Grote said. “We knew they would be a physical team, they’re going to give you a game all the way around, and our girls handled it great. Took care of the basketball when we needed to, played good solid defense, just a great team win today.”
The first quarter was back and forth with eight lead changes. Elle Siculan, Kayla O’Daniel, Gracie Garno and Lexi Unger each made baskets that momentarily gave the Trojans the lead in the opening quarter, but at the end of the period they trailed 15-13.
Lehman held a slim lead late in the second quarter when Arcanum began to take control. With less than two minutes remaining in the half O’Daniel made a free throw to tie the score at 21-21 then 22 seconds later she made a basket to put the Trojans up 23-21.
O’Daniel scored again with 55 seconds remaining in the half to give Arcanum a 25-21 lead, the largest lead for either team up to that point. Then with five seconds remaining in the half Elliana Sloan scored to put the Trojans up 27-21 entering halftime.
“We started to defend a little more,” Grote said of his team’s strong play at the end of the first half. “It was a pretty high-scoring first quarter. Got a little more points on the board in the second then we just buckled down and got some turnovers for us and we converted, which was awesome. It helped us out a lot pushing into halftime, especially the big basket at the end of the half – Elle Siculan finding Elliana Sloan … that was a big play.”
The momentum remained with Arcanum in the opening minutes of the second half. The Trojans increased their lead to 36-23 midway through the third quarter, and at the end of the period they led 40-33.
Facing a double-digit deficit, Lehman had to start pressing on defense. That allowed Arcanum’s post players to get in front of the defense and score easy baskets. Camille Pohl was a big beneficiary, scoring 15 points in the second half to help lead the Trojans to the 57-39 win.
“I was glad we took care of the ball,” Grote said. “We had our head up then like you said our post players down low were really the beneficiary. They shared the ball back and forth. I thought Kayla finished great around the rim, and obviously Camille did, too. They both had really good second halves.”
O’Daniel led Arcanum with a game-high 16 points on Saturday. Also for the Trojans, Pohl scored 15 points, Garno scored 10, Unger scored 7, Sloan scored 4, Siculan scored 3, and Sydney Artz scored 2.
Grace Monnin led Lehman with 16 points. Also for the Cavaliers, Alanna O’Leary scored 8 points, Lauren McFarland scored 5, Brogan McIver scored 4, Carly Edwards scored 3, Allison Bornhorst scored 2, and Rylie McIver scored 1.
Arcanum improved to 11-9 overall with Saturday’s win. The Trojans will return to action on Tuesday at Russia.
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.