VANDALIA — The end of Minster’s regional semifinal against Tri-Village wasn’t pretty. As good as the Wildcats played through the first two and a half quarters, though, it didn’t have to be.
Minster jumped out to an insurmountable lead by the midpoint of the third quarter and cruised to a 41-27 win on Thursday at Vandalia’s Student Activities Center. The win puts Minster in a Division IV regional final on Saturday night against Fort Loramie, which beat Covington 32-27 in Thursday’s second regional semifinal.
Minster led 33-17 with three minutes left in the third quarter. Though the Wildcats managed eight points through the game’s final 11 minutes, Tri-Village couldn’t pull any closer than 10 points during that time.
“Third quarter, it was a little ugly sometimes,” Minster coach Mike Wiss said. “Some of that is the environment, some of that is the game, some of that is what Tri-Village does to us. But… it speaks to our defense and it speaks to that group that practices against us every day.”
Minster scored the first four points of the game but Tri-Village responded with a 7-0 run to go up by three. The Wildcats took control in the final minute of the first thanks to three 3-pointers.
Demaris Wolf hit a 3 with 54 seconds left to tie it up, then Alli Fischer hit a 3 with 19 seconds let to put the Wildcats ahead 10-7. Fischer added another 3 from the top of the key with five seconds left to give Minster a six-point lead.
“Our 3s early in the game were reversal 3s as opposed to kickout 3s,” Wiss said. “Once we got the ball in — and in even means at the elbow — to catch one from one side and kick opposite for a step-in 3 was more of a positive for our shooters.”
Ivy Wolf hit back-to-back jumpers and Danielle Barhorst made a 3 with 3:28 left in the second to cap off a 7-0 run and put the Wildcats up 20-10. Jessica Falk hit a 3 with 1:17 left to put Minster ahead 26-12, but the Patriots added two free throws before the end of the second to pull within 12.
Minster started the third on a 7-3 run to take a 33-17 lead. Tri-Village scored the next six to pull within 10, but Courtney Prenger made a basket before the end of the quarter to put the Wildcats up by 12. Minster owned a 6-4 scoring advantage in the fourth.
Ivy Wolf led Minster with eight points while Janae Hoying scored seven and Fischer finished with six. Both Ivy Wolf and Hoying are freshman.
“They’ve got some thick skin sometimes, they really do,” Wiss said of Wolf and Hoying. “Some of that is from how they play in the summer. But I just told them in (the locker room) that, ‘Sometimes, you’re just a bunch of rats. You’re running around the floor tipping balls and getting loose balls or something like that.’ Someone made the comment, ‘We’re gym rats, Coach,’ and that’s exactly right. Hell of a rat to be right now.”
Maddie Downing and Emma Printz each led Tri-Village with seven points.
Wiss was happy with the team’s defensive effort on sophomore guards Lissa Siler and Trissa Porter. Siler averaged 14 points per game and Porter averaged nine. The duo scored two and six points, respectively.
“We want ball pressure everywhere,” Wiss said. “Does that mean that somebody gets beat and somebody’s got to rotate? Yeah. Does that mean you’re probably going to give up one or two? Yeah. But when your coaches look at you in the middle of the third quarter and see they’re tired, and you’re not, it’s an advantage.”
Fort Loramie 32, Covington 27
Fort Loramie pulled ahead of Covington in the third quarter and held on to win in Thursday’s 8 p.m. game in Vandalia.
Fort Loramie took a seven-point lead late in the third, but Samantha Whiteman made a 3-pointer from the right corner with 50 seconds left and two free throws with 5:05 left in the fourth to pull the Buccs within 27-25.
Victoria Lyle made a basket with 3:45 left to tie up 27-27, but Abby Holthaus made two free throws with 1:43 left to put Loramie ahead 29-27.
Holthaus hit a free throw with 18 seconds left to put the Redskins up by three. With Whiteman on the bench after fouling out, Covington failed to get a shot off on its last possession, and Kenzie Hoelscher made two foul shots with .9 seconds left to make the final.
Whiteman hit a basket to tie Fort Loramie and Covington 18-18 with 6:21 left in the third quarter. The Redskins responded with a 9-2 run, though, which Taylor Ratermann capped off with a 3 with 1:17 left in the third.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.
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