MINSTER — Fort Loramie had one bad quarter defensively in a nonconference game on Tuesday night, but Minster got enough scoring in the quarter to survive a late rally.
The Wildcats used a 16-point scoring advantage in the second quarter to take a big lead and then held on in the final minutes to earn a 35-26 win.
Fort Loramie held Minster to three field goals in the second half and came as close as six points, but the defensive effort wasn’t enough to make up for the 20-4 scoring advantage the Wildcats had in the second quarter.
“We were on the go trying to make crazy things happen,” Fort Loramie coach Carla Siegel said of the second quarter. “We weren’t disciplined. That’s the word we used at halftime. We have to be disciplined on the offensive end.
“Credit Minster’s defense. They’re fast, they’re quick and they’re good. We’re lucky they didn’t beat us by 40.”
Aside from Minster’s hot shooting in the second quarter, neither team’s offense could do much against stout defensive pressure. Both squads shot less than 35 percent from the field and each had over 15 turnovers.
“Minster-Loramie is a low-scoring game, Minster-Loramie is a defensive battle,” Minster coach Mike Wiss said. “… It’s who’s the strongest one with the ball and who’s stronger in the six inches between their ears. And a game like this teaches it. It taught Loramie, and it taught us. … It teaches you to develop thick skin as a player. We talk about when mistakes are made, you recognize it and you learn from it, you admit it and then you forget it.”
Fort Loramie finished the first quarter on a 7-2 run, but Minster scored eight points in the first two minutes of the second to spark a 20-4 advantage.
“Some of that was our transition,” Wiss said of the big second quarter. “In the second half, Minster didn’t get any transition. We take a little bit of pride in taking the ball out as quick as we can, and I thought Loramie did a pretty good job of taking away our transition game. That got to our head a little bit.”
The Redskins held Minster to two points in the third quarter and then started the fourth on a 7-0 run to pull within 30-24. But Taylor Kogge hit back-to-back baskets over a two-minute period in the fourth to push Minster’s lead to 34-24, and Loramie didn’t come closer than eight points after that.
Fort Loramie made 2-of-7 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter and 5-of-13 overall.
“We’re a better free-throw shooting team than that,” Siegel said. “If we would have hit just a couple of those I think it would have been a very interesting ending.”
Courtney Pregner led Minster with nine points, while Kogge finished with eight. Kennedi Gephart led Fort Loramie with seven points, while Marissa Meiring and Abby Holthaus added six each.
Pregner scored the game’s first six points to help Minster build an early lead. The Wildcats led 8-2 with 1:15 left, but Fort Loramie scored two baskets in the final minute — including a bucket in the paint with 12 seconds left by Holthaus after a pass from Meiring — to close the gap to 8-7.
Minster built its lead with a dominating defensive effort in the second.
After Fort Loramie got a basket in the first minute, the Wildcats clamped down defensively and allowed only one basket the rest of the quarter. Minster clogged the passing lanes, and when the Redskins could get a shot off during the quarter, they could not get an offensive rebound.
Minster also capitalized on several turnovers in the second quarter. Ivy Wolf took the ball out of a Fort Loramie player’s hands at half court and threw it inside to Demaris Wolf, who made a shot off the glass with 5:51 left to boost Minster’s lead to 17-9.
Wolf hit a 3-pointer less than 30 seconds later that forced Siegel to call a timeout, but the Redskins couldn’t stop the run. Danielle Barhorst made an inside shot with 28 seconds left to finish the quarter’s scoring and give Minster a 28-11 lead.
Fort Loramie’s defense played equally has tough in the second half, which Siegel said can be built upon.
“I told our girls to get after it,” Siegel said. “I told them it was like they were playing scared (in the first half). You can’t win a game if you’re scared; you’ve got to go out and play hard.
“I can’t say enough about (point guard) Hattie Meyer. She’s just our leader on the floor on offense and on defense. She’s the shortest girl on the floor and she had like seven rebounds and four or five steals. I think she got the girls going, and the girls were just trying to catch up with her and play with her intensity.”
Fort Loramie (3-1, 2-0 Shelby County Athletic League) travels to Fairlawn on Saturday for an SCAL game, while Minster (3-0) opens Midwest Athletic Conference play on Thursday at home against Parkway.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.