ARCANUM – Arcanum held a 21-15 lead at the half, but could never pull away from Ansonia and the game was in the balance until the end when freshman guard Jake Goubeaux hit the game winner on a drive to the basket with 5 seconds to play for a dramatic 40-38 win.
Arcanum jumped out to a 10-4 advantage with Evan Atchley hitting two triples early before Ansonia closed the gap to 12-9 by the end of the first quarter.
Back-to-back field goals by Matthew Shook and Reece Stammen gave the Tigers a 13-12 lead at the start of the second quarter, but they would soon go through a long dry spell on offense.
“We felt good about our game plan. I think we threw them off by going man instead of zone on defense,” Arcanum coach Jim Melton stated.
Arcanum held Ansonia nearly 6 minutes without a point as they went back on top 21-13, but with 5 seconds left Muir broke the drought to make the score 21-15 at the break.
“We had them down 21-13 and let them drive to the hole right at the end of the half to make it 21-15,” Melton said.
“I thought our guys competed well after Arcanum came out and jumped on us early and we battled back, stayed the course and never overreacted when guys hit big shots,” Ansonia coach Devin Limburg said.
Ansonia made a run at Arcanum, retook the lead 24-23 on a reverse lay-up from Matthew Farrier at 3:50 in the third quarter. Farrier had 6 points in the frame for the Tigers.
Back came the Trojans scoring the next 5 points on a hard 3-points from Wade Meeks and a bucket from Isaiah Hootman that brought the third quarter to a close 29-27.
Buckingham’s triple to start the final period set up another lead change 30-29 for Ansonia.
The lead would change a few more times in the final stanza shaping up to be that the team who had the ball last should win.
With the game tied 38-38, Arcanum held the ball for the last shot setting up the dramatics for freshman Jake Goubeaux. Goubeaux attacked the middle of the lane taking it strong to the rack and with two guys in his face he somehow found a way to finish the shot to give Arcanum the 40-38 lead with 5 seconds to play.
Ansonia had to go the full length of the court and Arcanum’s pressure stopped the ball from advancing quickly forcing a turnover in the waning seconds to secure the win for the Trojans.
After the game coach Melton talked about the strategy for his team late in the game.
“Going into the fourth quarter we just wanted to play with a lead, if we can get the lead, we can spread the floor, and our guards are pretty good when we have space to operate,” Melton said.
Ansonia coach Limburg acknowledged it was difficult to stop them in the open floor.
“We expected this to be a tight game, Arcanum is a good team and well coached. They had a couple guys step up tonight that we didn’t expect, and their guards are really good, they’re quick and skilled with the ball, and when they get that half step on you it’s so hard to recover.
“Defensively we were solid and slowed down Gray. Matt Farrier has been our lockdown on the other team’s best player and his length and quickness was a factor tonight,” Limburg said.
Arcanum coach Melton agreed, “I give credit to Ansonia they did a good job on Carter Gray tonight and took us out of what we like to do,” Melton said.
“Our kids battled hard against a good Ansonia team who is well coached. We did a nice job slowing down Hunter Buckingham, he’s a nice shooter, and player. I think he only got two 3’s tonight, so I was pleased with our defense as well,” Melton added.
“It’s been tough for us as we are 3-3 in the league and we’re just taking it one game at a time at this point, that’s all we can do,” Melton concluded.
Wade Meeks was the only Trojan to score in double figure with 10 points, Gray had 9, Goubeaux 7 and Atchley 6. Arcanum remains undefeated at home and improves to 7-5 overall and 3-3 in the league. Arcanum will play at Tri-Village on Friday night.
Hunter Muir led Ansonia with 14 points and Matt Farrier added 8. The Tigers fall to 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the conference and will host Twin Valley South on Friday.
Score by quarters
Ansonia – Matthew Farrier 8, Reece Stammen 4, Hunter Buckingham 6, Matthew Shook 3, Hunter Muir 14, Andrew Rowland 3. Totals 2-14-4/9 – 38.
Arcanum – Carter Gray 9, Wade Meeks 10, Evan Atchley 6, Austen Cutarelli 2, Jake Goubeaux 7, Zach Smith 4, Lane Byrne 2. Totals 3-12-7/10 – 40.
Three Pointers: Ansonia 2 (Buckingham 2), Arcanum 3 (Atchley 2, Gray 1)