UNION CITY — Neither coach came away pleased with how their teams played on Monday, but it was Arcanum who won the game, beating the Mississinawa Valley girls basketball team 75-38.
The game started out close with Mississinawa Valley leading 9-7 midway through the first quarter, but Arcanum took control to win the Cross County Conference match up by 37 points. Even though her team won by a large margin of victory, Arcanum coach Rachel Fearon had more praise for the Lady Hawks than her squad.
“Not our best night but I felt like Mississinawa was out for a win,” she said “They played hard.”
Mississinawa Valley coach Bo Humphries said Arcanum is a good team, but he wasn’t pleased with how his team played.
“I’m going to have to reevaluate some things and see if I can build a little bit of chemistry because we’ve got to change the chemistry on the team,” he said.
The night began with both teams trading baskets in the opening minutes of the first period. With 3:44 left in the opening frame, Mississinawa Valley took its first lead of the night on a pair of Nicole Scholl free throws to make it 9-7 in favor of the Hawks.
“We started off reasonably well,” Humphries said. “We kept chipping away at things, and then all of a sudden we lost our confidence, not only in ourselves but in our team and our teammates. They couldn’t recover from it.”
Facing a first-quarter deficit, Fearon called a timeout to refocus her team. In terms of scoring it worked as the Lady Trojans scored the next 11 points and led 18-12 at the end of the first quarter, a lead they held the rest of the night.
But Fearon still wasn’t satisfied with her team’s performance.
“I thought (we refocused) a little bit, but it still wasn’t our game,” Fearon said. “Going into the locker room at halftime, we had not played a first half like how we should.”
Arcanum outscored Mississinawa Valley 14-8 in the second quarter to build a 32-20 halftime lead.
The Lady Trojans extended their lead in the third quarter, going up 53-28 with a 21-8 advantage in the period.
Arcanum outscored Mississinawa Valley 22-10 in the final period for the 75-38 final score.
While both coaches were disappointed with their team’s performances, they saw some positives including solid play from their backups.
For Mississinawa Valley, it was Stephanie Scholl and Kaelyn Marker off the bench who earned accolades from Humphries.
For Arcanum, Stevie Johnting and Loganne Stone impressed Fearon. Johnting led all scorers with 21 points off the bench.
“Johnting came in and had a huge night for us,” Fearon said. “She had a huge night off the bench, and that’s really what we’ve been trying to get out of her all season.”
In addition to Johnting’s game-high 21 points, Abby Ross scored 14 points for Arcanum, Brittany Kinney scored 11, Alexis Abner scored 10, Abbey O’Donnell scored seven, Rebecca Deao scored six, McKenzie Sharritts scored five, and Stone scored one.
Nicole Scholl led Mississinawa Valley with 12 points on the night. Also for the Lady Hawks, Mackenzie Dirmeyer scored nine points, Heather Johns scored six, Logan Nelson scored four, No. 32 scored three, Marker scored two, and No. 42 scored two.
Mississinawa Valley has battled a lack of confidence all year, Humphries said, and will need to make changes before returning to action on Saturday against St. Henry.
“We’ll have to work on it as coaches, and we’ll get it changed,” he said. “We have to change the culture. It will happen. It just takes some time.”
Arcanum will return to action on Thursday when it plays host to Franklin Monroe.