PLEASANT HILL – With two regular season games left on their schedule, the Arcanum Lady Trojans have already surpassed their win total from last year (12) as they currently sit at 14-6 overall after defeating host Newton 76-49 on Thursday.
The Lady Trojans exploded for 45 points in the first half – 22 in the first quarter and 23 in the second – while holding the Indians to 26 (13 in each quarter) for their fourth consecutive win.
Everyone on the Arcanum bench got playing time and 9 of the 15 girls found the scoreboard led by five players in double figures. Junior Kayla O’Daniel was the high scorer with 14 points. She was followed by freshman Madelyn Fearon with 13, freshman Hailey Unger with 12, freshman Taylor Gray with 11 and senior Gracie Garno with 11. Gray also had 16 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season, eight of those coming against conference foes.
“I’ll tell you what, the past few games these girls have been tremendous and they just keep showing me growth,” first-year Arcanum coach Michael Dean said. “It’s just like when we talked at the beginning of the season that we have to be a family first. You are your sister’s keeper and that’s how we have gone from the very first practice.
“We had five in double figures tonight,” he continued. “Kayla (O’Daniel) just keeps playing so unselfishly. She could be a 25-points per game player, but she works with the other girls and tries so hard. The same can be said for (Gracie) Garno. They both move the ball around and they want to spread it out. It’s hard though because I don’t want to give credit to just one girl. There are 15 of them out there and they all work and play so hard for us. We try to get them all as many minutes as we can to do all those things. Everyone has picked it up so well and they play as a unit and so unselfishly. I’m real, real happy about that.”
Newton wasn’t going down so easily, however. Despite trailing 64-35 after three quarters of play, the Indians found opportunities and capitalized on them in the final eight minutes to win the fourth quarter, 14-12.
“I’ll tell you what that is a scrappy team,” Dean said. “Newton does not give up. They have two girls there Nos. 21 and 34 and talk about kids that can pull up and shoot. They hit everything they were tossing from 8 feet in.”
Newton was led by Brooke Deeter with 21 points. Mallory Dunlevy added 8 points and Camryn Gleason and Ally Weaver each had 6 for the Indians. After the five players that scored in double figures, Arcanum got offensive production from Eva Siculan with 6 points, Camille Pohl with 5 points, Macey Hartman with 2 points and Sydney Artz with 2 points.
“We stayed in our half-court press and that caused a lot of trouble for them,” Dean said. “We moved the ball well tonight. We were very patient. We wanted to work more on our half-court sets because we have tournament coming up and we are trying to polish a lot of things. Everyone played and we wanted that. We wanted to spread the ball around tonight and get everybody a taste of it because the next two games are against Versailles and Tri-Village and we will not be able to do that.”
Arcanum will travel to Versailles on Tuesday and then close out the regular season at home against Tri-Village on Thursday.
Score by quarters
Arcanum – Gracie Garno 5 0 11, Camille Pohl 2 0 5, Madelyn Fearon 4 2 13, Hailey Unger 4 4 12, Kayla O’Daniel 7 0 14, Taylor Gray 5 1 11, Macey Hartman 1 0 2, Eva Siculan 2 1 6, Sydney Artz 1 0 2. Totals: 31 8 76.
Newton – Camryn Gleason 2 2 6, Ally Weaver 2 2 6, Jaden Stine 0 2 2, Brooke Deeter 8 0 21, Michaela Kirk 0 4 4, Jessica Mitchell 1 0 2, Mallory Dunlevy 4 0 8. Totals: 17 10 49.
3-pointers – Arcanum 6 (Fearon 3, Garno, Pohl, Siculan), Newton 5 (Deeter 5).
Records: Arcanum (14-6, 8-3 CCC), Newton (9-10, 6-5 CCC).
The Daily Advocate sports editor Skip Weaver can be reached at (937) 569-4316 or by email at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @skipweaver65.