Minster 31, Celina 27
CELINA — No one would’ve blinked if the shot went down in this rollercoaster of a basketball game.
Minster and Celina’s low-scoring, back-and-forth affair looked like it might be in for another drastic turn when Hillary Heiby got what appeared to be a wide-open look at a potential go-ahead three-pointer in the game’s final 25 seconds.
But Minster center Tara Clune jumped in front of Heiby at the top of the key , blocked the shot, grabbed the rebound and drained a pair of free throws in the game’s final seconds to help preserve Minster’s 31-27 win over Celina on Saturday.
“We don’t fault our player because that’s the shot we wanted if we could get it,” Celina head coach Brian Stetler said. “They made the play. Give them credit.”
Clune scored a game-high 10 points to go along with the big block.
“Tara Clune battled hard inside all game,” Nann Stechschulte said. “She missed her first three free throws but then hit those two big ones and had that big block.”
The Bulldogs drew even in the final minutes with a clutch shot, as the lead went back and forth through the game’s final period.
Celina’s Taylor Guingrich tied the game at 26-26 with a deep two-point jumper in the left corner. Guingrich led Celina with eight points.
Minster’s Sara Dahlinghaus responded with a basket to put Minster back on top by two to set up Clune’s block and foul shots.
After Celina split a pair of free throws, Kayla Albers knocked down one-of-two free tosses to put the game away.
Minster trailed midway through the fourth quarter, but Kayla Richard produced inside baskets on back-to-back possessions to get Minster back to even. Richard slashed through the lane for her first basket and then got positioning under the basket on an inbounds play on the baseline to give Minster a 26-24 lead.
“Those were two big buckets that got us our momentum back,” Stechschulte said.
The Wildcat struggled shooting throughout by going 12-of-37 from the floor and just 2-of-14 from beyond the three-point arc, but Minster found some offense to close the first half on a good note.
Those lone two made three’s from Kayla Albers and Claire Fisher came in a one-minute stretch to take a 14-13 lead to the half.
“We were lucky to be down only what we were down and then we hit two three’s to go ahead at halftime,” Stechschulte said. “It almost was funny, as bad as we were shooting. On the other hand we were playing such good defense.”
New Knoxville 61, Waynesfield-Goshen 53
NEW KNOXVILLE — Behind the 26 points from Haley Horstman the New Knoxville Rangers girls basketball team was able to pull away from the Waynesfield-Goshen Tigers for a 61-53 victory Saturday afternoon at New Knoxville.
“New Knoxville has a very good team,” Tigers head coach Ted Patton said. “Our kids played hard and didn’t quit and I am very happy with that.”
Three players for each team scored in double figures. Horstman led the Rangers with 26 points followed by Paige Lehman with 16 and Haley Dillon with 10 points.
“The thing about New Knoxville is if you turn the ball over they will usually make you pay,” Waynesfield-Goshen head coach Ted Patton said. “They did a good job of capitalizing on our turnovers the whole game.”
For the Tigers Kaylee Patton led with 21 points followed by Lidia Turner with 13 points and Ivy Horn with 12 points.
Waynesfield (4-4) travels to Upper Scioto Valley on Thursday, while New Knoxville (6-2) travels to New Bremen on Thursday for a MAC contest.
New Bremen 42, Troy Christian 32
TROY — The Cardinals went on the road to pick up a non-conference win.