The Fort Loramie/Minster “Route 66 Rivalry” starts at the usual time on Saturday, approximately 7:30 p.m., following an expected 6 junior varsity tilt.
But you might want to plan on a very late night at the Minster gym.
The last four meetings between the two schools have forced players, coaches and fans to stay “overtime” before a verdict was determined. Regulation time has ended in a deadlock one game after another since the 2016-17 season.
The ScoresBroadcast.com and WMVR, 105.5 TAM FM, audiences could be on edge well into Saturday evening, too. Air time online and on radio starts at 7, and ends “who knows when.”
It’s even more odd that Fort Loramie has triumphed in every single one of these closely contested, overtime battles: 50-45 last year; 47-45 in 2018-19; 52-51 in 2017-18; and 37-35 in 2016-17.
In another twist, Minster won, 60-44, in 2015-16 to give the Wildcats a six-point advantage in points scored over the last five head-to-head meetings.
“Sometimes, it’s simply been a case of the ball bouncing one way and not the other,” said Jack Kramer, ScoresBroadcast play-by-play announcer. “But often the Minster/Fort Loramie thrillers have been decided by the team making that final really good individual effort in the waning seconds.”
Chuck McBee, Jack’s partner, announced at the end of last year’s game, “Right on cue. One more big-time play closes out another Minster-Fort Loramie cliffhanger!”
On Jan. 11, 2020, at Fort Loramie, Minster needed a three-point basket at the end of overtime to tie, but the Redskins’ Nick Brandewie came out of nowhere with a leap and a great defensive block to deflect the ball as it left the shooter’s hands. The Redskins had rallied late in the fourth quarter to knot the score after 32 minutes.
If recent history repeats itself, the two clubs will go wire-to-wire again on Saturday night. And count on extra time.
Fort Loramie is 7-3; Minster is 5-3. Earlier this week, the Wildcats garnered some points in the first Division IV AP poll of 2021. Each squad has played Botkins, the No. 4 D-IV team in Ohio, and each lost tight contests. The Wildcats were nipped, 56-52; the Redskins fell short in overtime, 44-37.
As highlighted on Tuesday in the Sidney Daily News, ScoresBroadcast and WMVR feature Botkins (9-0) versus Jackson Center (8-2) tonight. This pair of teams is also very evenly matched. Both are scoring 56 to 57 points per game; each is allowing only 39 to 40.
This week, Botkins, which is 5-0 in the Shelby County Athletic League, reaches the halfway mark of its SCAL schedule. Jackson Center hopes to hang the first league loss on the undefeated Trojans.
Not since the 2011-12 season has an SCAL school completed a 12-0 league slate. In that year, coach Scott Elchert’s Tigers won a dozen straight in the SCAL and were 27-1 overall.
In March 2012, the Tigers advanced to Columbus, beating Africentric before falling to Berlin Hiland in the state championship, their only setback of the year.
Botkins faces Fort Recovery, a tough opponent from the Midwest Athletic Conference, on Saturday. Jackson Center meets New Knoxville.