ARCANUM – Both Arcanum coach Brian Gunter and Franklin Monroe coach Troy Myers described Friday night’s game between the two rivals as a tale of two halves.
The first half belonged to the Arcanum boys basketball team, who never trailed through the first two periods and built a 19-17 halftime lead. The second half belonged to Franklin Monroe, who outscored Arcanum 15-8 in the fourth quarter to come away with a 44-35 win in Cross County Conference action.
“I thought we competed with toughness down the stretch, and ultimately that was the difference in the game,” Franklin Monroe coach Troy Myers said. “Take no credit away from Arcanum, their kids competed in the fourth quarter, as well. We got stops when we needed to, and we made big plays with free throws when we needed to.”
While his team didn’t fare as well shooting in the second half, Gunter still was very proud of his team’s play Friday night.
“We played good defense, knocked down some shots,” he said. “We played very good defense, held a good-scoring team to 44 points – that’s 11 a quarter.”
Arcanum went to Simon Troutwine early in the game, and he scored the night’s first four points before Devin Fourman got the Jets on the scoreboard.
The teams’ defenses were the strong suit, especially early in the game, as the score was 4-2 with less than four minutes left in the first quarter.
After some scoring from Grady Garno and Mason Garber for Arcanum plus a free throw from Marcus Horner for Franklin Monroe, the opening quarter ended with a Martin Maksvytis 3-pointer for the Jets to cut the Trojans’ lead to 9-6.
Garber was strong for Arcanum in the second quarter, scoring seven points to go along with a 3-pointer from Garno. The Trojans led by as many as six points in the quarter, but Travis Feitshans, Trey Mong and Maksvytis of the Jets kept the game close, going into halftime with Arcanum up 19-17.
About three minutes into the third quarter, Franklin Monroe got its first lead of the night off a basket from Maksvytis. Arcanum baskets from Donnie Kress and Kory Baker regained the lead for the Trojans, but the Jets once again got the upper hand with Fourman and Maksvytis leading the charge. At the end of the third quarter, Franklin Monroe was clinging to a 29-27 lead.
Franklin Monroe extended its lead in the fourth quarter, starting with a basket and free throw from Mong for a 3-point play. Then Fourman knocked down a pair of free throws, and Mong added another basket to give the Jets a nine-point lead.
“We started finally getting some productivity on the offensive end, started making some buckets and most critically we made some free throws down the stretch,” Myers said.
It took more than five-and-a-half minutes for Arcanum to score in the fourth quarter, with Garno finally breaking the drought. But by that time Franklin Monroe had taken control and led by at least six points the rest of the way en route to a 44-35 win.
“I think they came out in the second half and played a little more physical game,” Gunter said. “We didn’t knock down shots in the second half. We had some good looks.”
Arcanum’s Garber led all scorers in the game with 16 points. Also for the Trojans, Garno scored eight points, Kress scored four, Troutwine scored four, Baker scored two, and Colton Troutwine scored one.
Mong led the Franklin Monroe with 13 points in the victory. Also for the Jets, Maksvytis scored 11 points, Feitshans scored eight, Fourman scored eight, and Horner scored four.
Myers praised his players for a great team effort while also complimenting players such as Horner for his defense on Garno and Mong for his rebounding.
“I’m just extremely proud of our guys,” he said.