ARCANUM – The Arcanum Trojans and the Ansonia Tigers battled to the final buzzer to settle the outcome of the Tuesday night Cross County Conference game with the Trojans defeating the visiting Tigers 40-38 to stay undefeated at home on the season.
“The kids battled hard,” said Arcanum coach Jim Melton. “That was tough one. Ansonia is a nice ball club – well coached.”
“We expected this,” Tigers coach Devin Limburg stated. “Arcanum is a good team, they are well coached and they have some really good weapons.”
Arcanum took the opening period 12-9 led by a pair of Evan Atchley 3-pointers, Hunter Muir put 6-points on the first quarter board for Ansonia, knocking down three field goals.
The Trojans held a 21-13 lead with just seconds remaining on the second quarter clock before Reece Stammen hit a last second Ansonia basket to send the teams to the break with Arcanum taking Period No. 2 by a 9-6 score with Wade Meeks scoring 4-points and Stammen accounting for 4-Ansonia points.
“We let them drive to the basket right there before the end of the first half,” said Melton. “We had them 21-13 until the end.”
Ansonia battle back in the third to take the quarter 12-8, cutting the Trojans’ lead to 2-points with the teams heading to the final period of play with Arcanum holding a 29-27 advantage.
Hunter Buckingham drilled a 3-pointer at 7:48 to open fourth quarter scoring giving Ansonia a 30-29 advantage only to have Carter Gray drill a triple at 6:57 to put Arcanum back on top by a 32- 30 score.
“We adjusted at halftime and tried to keep the ball out of the paint as much as possible,” Coach Melton said. “I think we did a nice job on Buckingham. He’s a nice shooter, nice player and he only got two threes…a nice job on him.”
A Hunter Muir free throw with 0:52.7 showing knotted the score at 38-38 bringing a timeout from the Trojans bench.
Arcanum freshman guard Jake Goubeaux weaved his way through the lane to lay-in a layup with seconds remaining giving the Trojans a 40-38 lead in what would be the final score with Ansonia turning the ball over with 3.8 seconds remaining in the game.
“Those guards (Meeks and Goubeaux) are really good,” said Limburg. “They’re quick and they are so skilled with the ball. When they get that half step on you it’s so hard to recover and that throws our post off because they are forced to come up and help. Their ‘bigs’ are really skilled and good enough to go up and catch the ball and finish.”
“If we could play with a lead and spread them out – we’re pretty good when we have a lot of space to operate in,” Melton noted. “Our guards are pretty good at dribbling off the attack with some space. We spread some people out it makes it tough to guard.”
The difference on the night came at the free throw line with Arcanum shooting 7-of-10 at the charity stipe while Ansonia connected on 4-of-10 at the line.
“Games are won and loss at the charity line,” said Coach Melton, “that’s for sure.”
Hunter Muir led Ansonia and all scorers with a game high 14-points.
ARCANUM 40, ANSONIA 38
ARCANUM – W. Meeks 10, C. Gray 9, J. Goubeaux 7, E. Atchley 6, Z. Smith 4, A. Cutarelli 2, B. Lane 2 – TOTALS 12 7-10 3 40
ANSONIA – H. Muir 14, M. Farrier 8, H. Buckingham 6, R. Stammen 4, M. Shook 3, A. Rowland 3 – TOTALS 14 4-10 2 38
Arcanum 3 (E. Atchley 2, C. Gray 1)
Ansonia 2 (H. Buckingham 2)
SCORE by QUARTERS:
12-09-08-11 40 Arcanum
09-06-12-11 38 Ansonia
PHOTO CAPTION: Wade Meeks goes to the line for Arcanum to knock down back-to-back free throws in win over Ansonia. (Gaylen Blosser photo)