ARCANUM – The Arcanum seventh grade boys basketball team beat Miami East at home Saturday morning to win the Cross County Conference championship game.
The Trojans used a second quarter quick strike attack that built a lead and a suffocating defense that never allowed the Vikings to find a rhythm offensively. Arcanum took the game 35-13.
The first quarter was filled with lots of action going up and down the floor, but few points were scored. Numerous shots caressed the rim and rolled out for both teams.
The game seemed destined to be tied at 2 for the first period before a Chad Pitzer driving lay-in just before the buzzer gave the Trojans a 4-2 advantage heading into period two.
Arcanum was having difficulty penetrating the Miami East zone defense. After a timeout the Trojans seemed to find some magic. An offensive rebound lay-in basket by Eli Shelton, a triple by Jake Goubeaux and a fast-break bucket by Ian Baker started the Trojans on a 10-0 run in a little over two-and-a-half minutes, making the score 14-4.
The Arcanum man-to-man defense, that allowed just one lone field goal in the first quarter, gave up just one more in the second period. A Viking free throw with 0.7 seconds left gave Miami East its fifth point of the game and made the tally 16-5 at intermission.
With a shut-down defensive quarter and some offense Miami East could get back into this game in period three but neither happened. Dylan Thompson netted two field goals for the Vikings, but they would score no more.
Shelton made his presence felt under the basket by adding 6 more points to the ledger, giving Arcanum a 22-9 advantage, but the daggers that put the game out of reach mathematically and psychologically were two 3-pointers by Goubeaux to stretch the lead to 28-9 after three periods.
“This is a really good group of kids,” Arcanum coach Don Taylor said. “Boys are good students and they behaved themselves, for the most part, as much as seventh graders can do. They’ve worked really hard for the last four months, and I’m really proud of them.”
Coach Taylor reflected on the 17-0 perfect season.
“I haven’t had many of those,” he said. “So, that makes it kind of special. We talked about playing the way we could and finishing.”
“The kids have court sense … had a lot of that when I got them,” Taylor said. “Really good at sharing the basketball. Didn’t care who scored. They played with poise, patience and discipline. They truly enjoy being with each other.”
The members of the Arcanum seventh grade boys’ basketball team are: Griffin Cates, Jenson Whittaker, Jake Goubeaux, Luke Brinksneader, Dan Albright, Chad Pitzer, Tayten Cutarelli, Tyler Huber, Ashton Etherington, Brennan Troutwine, Hunter Roberts, Chase Werling, Ian Baker and Eli Shelton.