NEW BREMEN — Minster got the better of its rival New Bremen 46-43 in a Midwest Athletic Conference back-and-forth showdown on Friday night by scoring eight of the game’s final 10 points to rally.
“It’s one league game, but on the flip side it’s on the road and that’s awfully tough to do in this league,” said Minster head coach Mike Lee. “We just needed to get back into league play like everybody else is, get back into a routine, which I think was imperative. We executed down the stretch and I thought that was key for us.”
New Bremen head coach Adam Dougherty thought a lack of defensive rebounding heavily contributed to the loss by his team.
“The play we couldn’t get was a defensive rebound. They had nine offensive rebounds and I bet they scored a bucket on all nine,” said Dougherty. “We couldn’t finish possessions. They were tougher than us on the glass and usually the team that rebounds the best wins. It’s the same tonight.”
After ending the third quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 2-point lead over Minster, Bremen opened the fourth quarter on a 4-0 run, thanks to a basket by Justin Heitkamp and two free throws by Clune. Following an Austin Knapke basket, Bremen still led 37-33 with 5:40 left in the fourth quarter.
After an exchange of baskets, Minster’s Ryan Hoying hit his third three-pointer of the game to bring the Cats within 1.
“I thought we guarded really well all night on our first-shot defense, but I bet they got 18, 20 points off of their offensive rebounds and you can’t do that with somebody as good as Minster. It just kills you,” said Dougherty.
Aaron Clune responded with two free throws for the Cards, who led 41-38 with 3:38 remaining.
“We shoot free throws really well, but we made some poor decisions down the stretch,” said Dougherty. “A little adversity tonight and we went back to some bad habits that we have and it’s mostly finishing possessions.”
Minster answered by hitting four straight foul shots to take a one-point lead. Hoying then took a steal the length of the floor for a bucket to give Minster a 44-41 lead with 1:31 left in regulation.
Bremen turned the ball over twice in the final 1:30, the second of which came on a wide-open three-point look for Derek Bornhorst that sailed off the rim and was rebounded by Minster.
Huber then hit two free throws with 6 seconds left to all-but seal the victory for the Cats, although Clune did hit a Bremen basket with 0.8 seconds remaining.
Hoying caught a half court pass from Poeppelman as the final second ticked away.
“Our offense needs to catch up with where we’re at defensively. It wasn’t pretty,” said Lee. “There wasn’t a whole lot of consistency tonight offensively, but that’s a good defensive ballclub that we faced, and both teams just got after one another. I fully expected that it was going to come down to the wire.”
Austin Knapke scored a game-high 16 points for Minster, while Poeppelman added 12 and Hoying scored 11.
Aaron Clune led New Bremen with 8 points, while Bornhorst and Manger each added 7.
Tonight, Minster will host Ottoville, while New Bremen will travel to Russia.