CASSTOWN – The struggles on the road continued on Tuesday for the Arcanum boys basketball team as they lost to Cross County Conference host Miami East, 41-26.
It was a disappointing loss to say the least for the Trojans, who entered the game coming off back-to-back wins against national Trail and Eaton. The loss drops them to 3-3 overall (3 wins at home and 3 losses on the road) and 1-2 in the CCC.
“Yeah, it is disappointing,” said first-year Arcanum coach Jim Melton. “We just struggled from the field and couldn’t hit anything. We got a lot of clean looks within our scheme and what we were looking for, we just couldn’t knock them down. They are a good team, but it wasn’t really anything they did. We got our looks, we just missed layups and wide open 3’s.”
According to unofficial stats, the Trojans were 10 of 47 from the field (21 percent), 5 of 23 from 3-point range (22 percent) and only 1 of 5 from the free throw line (20 percent).
Despite the offensive struggles for the Trojans, they were tied with the host Vikings 14-14 at halftime. Arcanum had tried early to work the ball around to junior Carter Gray for some 3-point attempts, but he missed the first few. Down 7-5 to start the second quarter, Gray finally connected on a long ball to lift his team to an 8-7 lead. Miami East’s Will Hudson put his team back on top 9-8 a few minutes later and then the teams traded scores for a while before Arcanum freshman Jake Goubeaux launched a 3-ball to put the Trojans up 14-13 with 2:12 left in the half. By the time the half ended, Miami East had hit 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game at the break.
Then the Vikings came out roaring in the third quarter on a 10-0 run to go up 24-14. It wasn’t until the 2:54 mark of the third period when Gray ended the Trojans scoreless streak with a layup. He drew the foul but missed the free throw to leave the score 24-16. Brendon Bertsch made it a 10-point lead again for the Vikings at 26-16 when he hit a deuce and that is how the third frame ended.
Hudson scored 13 of his game-high 17 points in the second half with 7 of those coming as part of that third quarter run. he also finished the game with 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots. The 17 points and 12 rebounds have him his first career double-double, according to Miami East coach Allen Mack.
“Will Hudson had a very good effort for us tonight,” Mack said. “He also added 3 steals and 2 blocks so it was a good game for him. I thought Brendon Bertsch played well for us too. He gave us 11 points and was 5-of-6 at the line and had 6 rebounds. Getting to the glass and being more physical on the boards is something we have tried to emphasize in practice and at least for tonight we were able to do that.”
Miami East has had its struggles of late too. The Vikings were up on Franklin Monroe at halftime and lost by 16. They also had a lead on West Liberty-Salem and lost by 7.
“We have just struggled to finish games but tonight we were able to finish and that was a big key for us,” Mack said. “Hopefully this was a breakthrough win for us because we started slow at 0-4 with our losses to teams at the time that were a combined 12-3. We’ve comeback now with three wins and tonight is one that hopefully can carry us a little bit.”
The Trojans will have to figure out a way to win on the road quickly as the next couple weeks of their schedule have them on the road for four of their next five games. They host Covington on Friday, but then play in the Jet Holiday Tournament and have road games at Bethel and New Lebanon Dixie before returning home against Ansonia on Jan. 8.
“We just have to find a way to win on the road,” Melton said. “We are undefeated at home, but we are winless on the road. We have got to go back in to work tomorrow and just keep plugging away. We’ve got to get ready to play in a foreign environment because when the tournament comes later in the season we are not going to be playing at our place so we have to be ready to shoot in other gyms and be ready to play. We will get it figured out. It is early in the season. It’s not even Christmas yet, so we will be OK.”
As for the scoring leaders, Gray finished with 13 to lead the Trojans and Goubeaux added 6. For Miami East, Hudson had 17 and Bertsch contributed 11.
Score by quarters
Arcanum – Carter Gray 5 0 13, Wade Meeks 1 0 2, Evan Atchley 1 0 2, Jake Goubeaux 2 0 6, Zach Smith 1 0 2, Lane Byrne 0 1 1. Totals: 11 1 26.
Miami East – Parker Heim 3 2 9, Aaron Lawrence 0 1 1, Josh Whitt 1 0 3, Will Hudson 6 4 17, Brendon Bertsch 3 5 11. Totals: 13 12 41.
3-pointers – Arcanum 5 (Gray 3, Goubeaux 2), Miami East 3 (Heim, Whitt, Hudson).
Records: Arcanum (3-3, 1-2 CCC), Miami East (3-4, 2-1 CCC).
The Daily Advocate sports editor Skip Weaver can be reached at (937) 569-4316 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter at @skipweaver65.