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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Trojans Roll Past Hounds in Second Half

Dixie had an emotional weekend.  They had a big win against a fellow SWBL team – Milton Union where they came from behind for the victory.  Then like a gun fighter who had shot all their bullets, they seemed to run out of ammo against the Arcanum Trojans.  It was a one point game at halftime, but the Trojans rolled the Hounds in the second half enroute to a lop-sided win.

Dixie got off to a very slow start against Milton Union.  At the end of one quarter, they only had single basket to show for their efforts.  Meanwhile the Bulldogs scored 15 for a 13 lead.  Dixie battled back, but they were still staring at a 31-18 deficit at halftime.  The Dixie defense really shutdown the Bulldogs after the break. And the team fed the post as Cody Grubb would score a game high 25 points on the night.  Dixie poured it on in the final stanza as they caught up with and then charged past the hapless Bulldogs for a come from behind 48-40 win.

“Defensively Justin Leonard was big for us. Justin Keirns and Zach Rader also stepped up for us too with their defense.  And Cody Grubb had a good game too. We were 13 down at one point, but ended up winning by 8.  Our energy was on a whole different level,” Stated coach Williams afterwards.
Next up were the Trojans of Arcanum who came into town for a CCC vs SWBL matchup.  And like Dixie they were coming off of a win from the previous night.  Easily dispatching Ansonia 57-38.   Both teams began in man to man defenses and neither team seemed to be able gain much of an advantage in the first half.  Arcanum did try to press some in an attempt to break things open, but the teams were separated by a single point at halftime Arcanum leading 25-24.

Arcanum hit 2 trey’s on back to back possessions early in the 3rd quarter and so they began to distance themselves from Dixie.   Dixie took a time out and set up a press in an attempt to change the momentum.  But Arcanum’s offense was shooting well and the team was controlling the boards too. Dixie was being limited to one shot at their end of the court and Arcanum was getting second chances at their end. 

Things went from bad to worse when Dixie’s tall man Cody Grubb left the game for good after an altercation on the floor at the end of the third quarter. After that an already listless Dixie team really seemed to lose their way and Arcanum kept rolling in the final quarter building an 11 point lead to 25 and winning 57-33. 

“It is hard for 16 and 17 year olds to keep up the emotional and physical energy for two nights in row,” whispered a hoarse coach Williams after the game, “Yesterday was an up and down game where we came from behind for a big league victory over Milton Union.  And in the second half of this game we were spent, the wind left our sails. ”

He continued, “We’re not good at back to back games right now.  I have to give them props for yesterday’s big win, but it did take a lot of energy out of us.  Tonight I thought we had a lot of energy in the first half.  In the second half we lost energy and they capitalized on it.  We have to do a better job at that.  Next week is Newton, they play hard and get after it.  But Carlisle is a conference game, we need to be up for that, they are one of the better teams.”

Arcanum’s coach Bixler commented, “We gave ourselves a rating of about 2 out of 10 in the first half.  I wasn’t real happy with the defensive intensity even though we had the lead at the half and did not play well.  It’s not always easy to play two nights back to back.  But you have to be mentally tough for them.  We challenged the team at halftime and they responded.  They defended really well in the second half.

He continued, “At halftime we made sure that we identified their shooters and stuck to them.  We lost them several times in the first half.  We made sure we won’t going to lose the second half and we didn’t.  It was one of our best rebounding efforts this year. “
Connor Pohl, “I thought tonight was his best effort on the defensive end of the court.  And he did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  We knew that Grubb would be challenge for him and that he needed to keep him off the glass. He was physical at both ends of the floor. He continues to get better – I am proud of his efforts.”
Next week is a busy week for the Trojans as they play a make up game against Fort Recovery on Tuesday and then Newton and Greenville on the weekend.  

Fort Recovery, “We have went over them last week before the game was rescheduled. So we already practiced for them.  We know that they have two quick guards that we will need to watch.  They have a sophomore lefty in the post who is a good athlete.  They are going to be deliberate with the ball and try to shoot some 3’s.  On defense they are quick and they will try to press.  We have to take care of the ball against the press and at the other end of the floor we need to defend the paint.”

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