MINSTER — Make it four in a row.
Minster's mid-season turnaround kept going with a fourth straight win to go above .500 just two weeks after starting the season 1-4.
Minster defeated Parkway 48-34 in a Midwest Athletic Conference match-up on Friday night.
“It was a game that was a low-scoring, pretty much defensive struggle, and not a whole lot of flow to the game, which you except in league action,” said Minster head coach Mike Lee, who was pleased with his team’s defensive effort throughout the game.
Minster responded to a game-opening Parkway bucket by going on a 6-0 run, thanks to a basket and two foul shots by Austin Knapke and a basket by Doug Huber. Following a Parkway bucket, Minster led 6-4 with 4:55 left in the first quarter.
Minster then went on a 3-0 run, but Parkway answered with a 3-0 run of their own. Parkway still trailed by just 2 points with 2 minutes left in the quarter.
After an exchange of baskets, Minster went on a 4-0 run during the final 40 seconds of the quarter, courtesy of two free throws by Adam Niemeyer and a bucket by Huber. The Wildcats led 15-9 after one quarter of play.
After a Parkway free throw and a Minster basket to open the second quarter, both teams quickly exchanged baskets.
Parkway’s Matt Heindel ended a nearly 4-minute long scoring drought by both teams when he made a basket and corresponding free throw to bring the Panthers within 4 points with 1:52 left in the first half.
After another exchange of baskets, Minster ended the first half on a 6-0 run, courtesy of a basket and corresponding free throw by Huber, along with a three-pointer by Devon Poeppelman.
Minster led 27-17 at halftime.
Minster opened the second half on a 9-0 run, thanks to two baskets and two free throws by Poeppelman and a three-pointer by Ryan Hoying. The Cats led 36-17 with 5:27 left in the third quarter.
“We had a couple shots at the end of the half to get it to 10 and then (I was) very, very pleased with how the third quarter started,” said Lee. “We just need to make that next step. The next step is, when you get up by 15, 16 17 like we were, we need to extend that, but you’re not going to do that when you have some breakdowns defensively. To Parkway’s credit, they didn’t go away.”
Parkway responded by going on an 8-0 run thanks to two free throws and a three-pointer by Derek Luth, and a three-pointer by Austin Dennison. Following an Austin Knapke free throw to end the run, Minster led 37-25 with 1:15 remaining in the third quarter.
Parkway added another basket, but Poeppelman hit a bucket at the buzzer to give Minster a 39-27 lead after three quarters of play.
After Heindel opened the fourth quarter with a basket, Minster hit four straight free throws to take a 43-29 lead with 5:29 left in the game.
After a basket by Parkway’s Zach Gehron, Poeppelman scored two straight buckets for the Cats. Minster led 47-31 with 3:10 remaining in the game.
Luth added a basket and foul shot with 2:11 remaining, but it was too little too late as Minster held on for their fourth straight victory.
Luth scored a game-high 17 points for Parkway. Heindel added 7 and Austin Dennison scored 5.
Poeppelman led Minster with 16 points, while Huber added 15 and Knapke scored 9.
“That’s kind of what we alluded to: we needed to go more inside, outside this evening and (Huber) had a very good game for us on the glass, cleaned up a lot of things inside and that was good to see,” said Lee. “Hopefully that gets him going and gets him going a little bit confidence-wise.”
Minster will travel to Ft. Loramie tonight.