ARCANUM – The Arcanum girls basketball team will once again open their season hosting their own holiday tournament, the Roy Hutchinson Memorial Tournament on Friday November 22nd. Finishing 16-9 a year ago, their season ended with a 58-38 loss to Waynesville in the sectional title game. Waynesville then went on to become state runner-up in the tournament. Following up on an exciting 2018-19 season, the Lady Trojans expect to continue last year’s success.
Here for his second season, Michael Dean is eager to see his squad in action once again. “We’re very much looking forward to this season,” stated Dean, “our team and coaching goals are the same as last year; focusing on building up our program, hard work on the court, having good team chemistry, and establishing a ‘sisters’ keeper’ mentality.”
The lady Trojans return many key portions of last year’s success, including last year’s starting five and 88% of total offensive output. In addition to the experience and poise on the offensive end of the floor, the girls’ secret to their success will be a relentless defensive pressure that leads to easy transition points on the offensive side of the ball.
Arcanum will face a gauntlet schedule in 2019-20. “We have a very strong schedule this season, maybe one of the strongest I feel in the area,” remarks Dean. “ we will see the likes of Tri-Village, Franklin Monroe, Valley View, Versailles, Russia, Miami East, Bradford, and others to help us prepare for the tournament.”
Speaking of preparation, the lady Trojans made quite the investment this offseason. Arcanum took part in the D-ONE team camp in Ft. Wayne going 18-0 and seeing similar success in area summer shoot-outs. Additionally, the girls faced Columbus Africentric, Toledo Rogers, Newark, Fort Loramie and Kettering Alter in fall scrimmages. These matchups tested the team’s overall speed, strength, and aggressiveness on the defensive end of the floor.
Ready to see return on investment, seniors Gracie Garno and Kayla O’Daniel will lead the way and have earned honors of being the team’s co-captains. Garno is a 4-year starting point guard and returns averaging 6 points and 5 assists per game. O’Daniel, also a 4-year starter earned 2nd team CCC a year ago and brings a career of over 850 points already. She averaged 12 points and 5 rebounds per game last season and will play a guard/forward position. Joining their fellow seniors are guards Ellianna Sloan and Meghan McCans, who are expected to provide leadership, experience, and a spark when their number is called.
Juniors Hannah Smith and Eva Siculan will provide key minutes for the lady Trojans. Smith, a post player, will look to fill a role by getting key rebounds, setting screens, and other intangibles that don’t always fill the stat column. Likewise, Siculan is expected to play a contributing role on the defensive end of the floor and will fill a guard position.
Arcanum will look to Taylor Gray for even more excitement in 2019-20. As a freshman, Gray averaged a double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds per game). In addition to earning all-state selection and being named 1st team CCC, Gray broke 3 school records. Now a sophomore, watch for Gray to continue building a stellar personal career in the post.
Rounding out the sophomores are two more returning starters, Madelyn Fearon and Hailey Unger. Fearon as a guard returns 8 points per game and earned 2nd team CCC in her freshman season. Unger also had significant contributions in her freshman year, including setting school records for 3-point shooting and steals. She returns 10 points per game for the lady Trojans.
The Arcanum girls basketball program has a lot to be excited about coming into the new year. So what are the keys to meeting and exceeding expectations? “The keys are going to be staying healthy while our younger players continuing their development on the court,” remarked Dean, “building strong communication and attacking the boards aggressively, as well as always a strong dedicated defensive effort every game.”
In the last year of conference structure, Coach Dean anticipates a tight race for league honors. “I expect the top spot to be fought for by Tri-Village, Franklin Monroe, Arcanum, and Miami East. However, no one should sleep on Bradford, Bethel, or National Trail,” noted Dean.
Coach Michael Dean and company will look to cash in on its offseason investments while the Arcanum community will watch on as their girls basketball program builds on the success from a year ago. The lady Trojans will see a familiar conference foe in National Trail on Friday night as they host the 3rd annual Roy Hutchinson Memorial Tournament.