Arcanum Coach Abbey Moore is a teacher of the game and never misses a moment to get her point across as she works to fine-tune her team as they get ready to hit a key stretch of games in the WOAC. (Dale Barger Photo)

Lady Trojans Fine Tuning Game In Win Over St. Henry

ARCANUM – The Lady Trojans basketball team defeated St. Henry Tuesday night 63-44 to improve to 5-0 this season and they were able to go deep into their bench getting lots of girls playing time along the way.  

It’s no secret Arcanum has high expectations this year returning a talented cast from a team that went 20-5 last year winning a sectional title before bowing out in the district final. The Trojans are one of the favorites in the newly formed Western Ohio Athletic Conference to challenge for a league title and for another strong post season run.

Five seniors make up the engine for Arcanum led by senior guards Hailey Unger, Madelyn Fearon and Meghan McCans along with senior post players Taylor Gray and Ellie Fout.

Abbey Moore returns for her 2nd season leading the Trojans program and is working hard to fine tune the engine and improve other parts of the machine so they will be performing optimally going into the post season. 

The other parts of the machine playing a key role this year are junior guards Kaitlyn Toy, Shelby Kaye and junior forwards Kylee Freeman, Hannah Rademachir and sophomore forward Emilie Fout.

Two pistons firing well for Arcanum in the first half were Hailey Unger 10 points and Madelyn Fearon with 8 as the Trojans held a 36-21 lead at the break.

Arcanum held a 31-13 lead in the 2nd quarter but over the last 2:30 St. Henry closed the gap and trailed 33-21 before the Trojans added a triple to close the first half.

Some coaches might have been pleased with the first half, but coach Moore was more concerned about how to keep her team focused and performing optimally and felt her team let up just a bit late in the 2nd quarter, especially on defense.

“We had moments where we played flat and we didn’t stay locked in for the entire 2nd quarter and that allowed St. Henry to make a run, so we talked about that at halftime,” Moore said.

Arcanum’s defense was like Fort Knox for the first 4 minutes of the 3rd as they jumped ahead by 30 points until the Redskins finally made it through the gate at 3:48 in the quarter to bring the score to 51-23.

The Trojans established a strong presence in the paint in the frame with Taylor Gray scoring 8 of her 10 points as Arcanum led 54-29.

Arcanum was able to play everyone in the game and went on to win the non-conference game 63-44.

After the game Moore was pleased she was able to get all her girls playing time.

“We were doing a lot of rotating in and out trying to get a lot of girls experience and give them a chance.  It’s still early in the season and I want to give everyone a shot to show me what they got, and we learned some things tonight,” Moore said.

“It’s a good opportunity to try different combinations and gives kids a chance to learn their roles and for us as a coaching staff to teach them.  We are at getting to a point though where we need to know and accept our roles … not necessarily being ok with it, as you should always be striving to get better,” Moore emphasized.

“To get where we want to be, “ tournament basketball mentality”, we must sharpen up,” Moore stated.

“We have a big game coming up that starts with Dixie on Thursday who has been scoring a lot of points so we can’t be complacent on offense like we did tonight.  We have to be in an attack mode all the time and it starts with our defense and then getting out in transition,” Moore added.

With two of the premiere guards in the Miami Valley; Hailey Unger (D3 Southwest District Player of the Year 2021) and Madelyn Fearon (D3 1st Team Southwest District) and Taylor Gray one of the best post players, the Trojans can put a lot of pressure on an opposing team’s defense.

Unger has signed to play basketball next year with the University of South Carolina Aiken and averaged 19.4 ppg last year.  

Fearon has verballed to Ohio Dominican next season and averaged 13.7 ppg last year along with 5.2 assist.

Gray was a solid 12 ppg and 8 rebounds last year and the trio are easily performing at those levels again this year.

Unger led all scorers in the game with 16 points, Fearon had 14, and Gray 10, all in limited minutes in the win over St. Henry.

The Trojans also got some key baskets early in the game from Kaitlin Toy who had 7 points and Ellie Fout that included a triple bringing the bench to their feet.

“Kaitlyn was solid tonight with her play, and we tried to set-up some looks for Ellie, it was good to see her knock down a triple, so moving forward we hope it gives her confidence as well,” Moore offered.

Offense aside Moore knows defense is the key to winning games along with having a deep bench and that’s why she works so hard trying to develop all the parts of the engine.

The Trojans have long improved their game beyond riding in a Chariot and come tournament time they should be purring like a Ferrari.

BOX SCORE:

SCORE BY QUARTER

St. Henry         09        12        08        12 – 44

Arcanum         15        21        18        09 – 63

INDIVIDUAL SCORING:

St. Henry: Speck 3, Beyke 4, Wendel 3, Everman 10, A. Ontrop 6, Lefeld 10, M. Ontrap 8, 

Totals 2-18-2/4 – 44


Arcanum: McCans 4, Ellie Fout 7, Fearon 14, Unger 16, Toy 7, Freeman 3, Emilie Fout 2, Gray 10,

Totals 6-19-7/12 – 63

Hailey Unger goes hard to the rim for two of her game high 16 points. (Dale Barger Photo)
Madelyn Fearon can strike "Fear" when she's "on" connects with this triple just before the half ends. (Dale Barger Photo)
A motivated Taylor Gray can dominate inside the paint, she goes up for two in traffic. (Dale Barger Photo)
The Trojans are going to need Ellie Fout in big games and she goes up for a bucket inside. (Dale Barger Photo)
Junior Kaitlin Toy uses a screen by Taylor Gray for a three-pointer. Toy is a versatile all-around player off the bench for Arcanum. (Dale Barger Photo)

Dale Barger / Sports Editor

Dale Barger is a lifelong sports enthusiast and has covered high school athletics for nearly 20 years in Southwest Ohio and now becomes sports editor for Darke County now. For 18 years Dale has been a sportswriter for The Daily Advocate and has been published in online sorts magazines and conference websites. Dale is also an accomplished photographer who has captured thousands of athletes in action over the years. Dale is a member of The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association and was a 2019 recipient of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District Media Service Award. Dale lives on a 72-acre farm outside of New Madison, Ohio and is married to Rita Ann (Fourman) Barger and together they have two sons and three grandkids. If you don’t see Dale at a sporting event you might catch him following his other passion – photographing nature and wildlife. Contact Darke County Now Editor Media Sports Editor Dale Barger at dbarger@darkecountynow.com.

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