CAMDEN – The second half was not Arcanum’s half on Saturday night.
Arcanum has been successful as the season wanes and came into the Preble Shawnee riding a four-game winning streak. So the Trojans came into the game with some momentum.
On the other hand, second place Southwestern Buckeye League team Shawnee was still stinging from being beaten by the SWBL’s first place team – Middletown Madison.
The Arrows were looking to rebound from the loss in this game against the Trojans. But Arcanum kept the game close for the first half.
However, the second half sealed the fate of the Trojans as they would only score 4 points in the third quarter while allowing the Arrows to score 17. Arcanum would get its offense in gear in the last quarter with 17 points, but it could not make up any ground and would up losing 67-47.
Both teams played zone defenses initially. Shawnee used a 1-3-1 trapping zone and also pressed to utilize its team speed. This almost backfired on the Arrows as they were getting foul calls right and left. Barely into the second quarter, they were giving up double bonus. So they had to dial things back or risk getting their players into deep foul trouble.
The Trojans took advantage and had a decent quarter – scoring 16 points with Carter Gray and Evan Atchley setting the pace. But Grant Delk, who had been hitting the boards hard, got into foul trouble in the second quarter. He would finish the game with four fouls, but it curtailed his playing time and his aggressiveness on the boards. At halftime, it was 32-26 in favor of Shawnee.
After the break, Arcanum came out in man to man and then the Trojans went back into a zone about midway through the quarter. But their offense seemingly never left the locker room. There were periods were the Trojans could not buy a basket. They were getting shots off but just hit a cold spell where nothing would drop. And with few offensive rebounds most possessions were one shot and a race back to defend their basket from the quickness of the Arrows.
“I thought in the second half we were very undisciplined and used poor shot selection,” Arcanum boys basketball coach Marcus Bixler said of the second half. “And that poor performance seemed to carry over to the other end of the floor where we didn’t do well on defense.”
The Trojans gradually found their mark in the last quarter and kept pace with Arrows. But they could not make up any ground. It was a tough way for their winning streak to end.
“For a half we did somethings OK,” Coach Bixler said. “I didn’t think that we were sharp on either end of the floor the way that we should have been. But for a half we stuck with them. They got into a little bit of foul trouble and we made some shots to get it close. We did a good job stopping (leading scorer) Joey Bates, but give their Austin Moore some credit. He only made two 3s coming into to this game and made four tonight.”
Next week the Trojans wrap up their season against Milton-Union and Tri-County North.
“Milton Union has the (Aaron) Stone kid – he is playing well for them,” Bixler said. “We have to find a way to stop him. He is big and solid. They also have a couple of guards that can get to the rim and score. We have to defend and get to the ball.”
Scoring: Isaiah Hootman 3, Dylan Lumpkin 2, Carter Gray 12, Wills Troutwine 3, Wade Meeks 5, Evan Atchley 11, Grant Delk 4, Lane Byrne 6.