FORT LORAMIE — Minster’s girls basketball team had little problems scoring in its first two games thanks in part to senior guard Ivy Wolf leading a high-powered attack.
Fort Loramie shut Wolf and the rest of the Wildcats down in a nonconference game on Saturday — and showed its defense is still among the state’s best.
The Redskins scored 10 straight points in the second quarter to take control and beat Minster 36-26 in a matchup of neighboring rivals that have proven to be among the state’s best Division IV squads each year.
“Because it’s only three miles from us, it’s always a big rivalry game,” Fort Loramie coach Carla Siegel said. “… There’s just a lot of connections, and it makes the game bigger than sometimes it really is.
“… To me, it’s a Dec. 12 game, and there’s still a lot of things to improve on, especially offensively. I’m not overly ecstatic that we scored 36 points.”
The two squads were on a collision course for the Div. IV state title game last season before COVID-19 derailed the tournament. Fort Loramie, which had lost to Minster in regional finals the previous two years, was looking to beat its rival for a second time after winning a regular-season matchup 47-19 last year.
Nine months later, Fort Loramie (7-0) finally posted a second consecutive win over Minster (2-1) much the same way as last season’s regular-season win: with stifling defense.
“I told the girls going into today it was going to be a defensive battle. It wasn’t going to be a high-scoring game,” Siegel said. “The team that did the simple things, the little things, was going to win the game.”
The Redskins haven’t allowed more than 35 points in a game this year, but their defensive style is a bit different than recent years. Though the squad still plays plenty of man-to-man, it isn’t using its full-court press as much as it did in the last three seasons and is playing a half-court press more.
“This maybe is a half-court defensive team,” Siegel said. “They did a pretty good job locking down today. Because we’re not doing the full-court, we’re not getting the steals and the layups that we want, which is why we only scored 36 points.”
Senior forward Dana Rose led Fort Loramie with 15 points and had five rebounds. She scored 11 of Fort Loramie’s 13 points in the second quarter, including eight during a 10-0 run that gave the team an 18-8 lead.
It was a breakout performance by Rose, who’d had a lackluster start to the season according to Siegel.
“A couple of our games, she has not been aggressive,” Siegel said. “This week, we were challenging her. She’s tall and she has a strong body, and we told her she needs to be using her body more to get to the rim and finish. Those two and-one plays, that’s what we’ve been working on and what we want to see from her.
“I’m very proud of her and the way she handled herself, especially in that second quarter. Scoring 11 points against Minster’s defense? That’s something to be proud of.”
Wolf scored four points in the first quarter to help Minster stay even with Fort Loramie at 8-8 by the end of the quarter.
Fort Loramie senior guard Caitlyn Gasson guarded Wolf early, but Siegel switched assignments in the first quarter and put senior forward Kenzie Hoelscher and junior guard Colleen Brandewie on Wolf, who signed with Miami (Ohio) in November.
Wolf scored 30 points in the team’s 36-point win over Versailles to open the season on Dec. 4 and followed with a 20-point performance on Thursday against New Bremen. She scored one basket in the final three quarters on Saturday and finished with six points.
“Caitlyn Gasson started off on Ivy, and we knew that was a mismatch,” Siegel said. “Ivy’s strong. She scored the first two plays of the game, so we made the change. Kenzie did a wonderful job. …For us to do what we today was great. Kenzie absolutely gets all the credit for how hard she worked.”
Rose capped off the second quarter to give Fort Loramie a 21-10 lead. The Redskins led 28-19 at the end of the third and finished with an 8-7 scoring edge in the fourth.
Janae Hoying led Minster with 12 points.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.