MINSTER —A series of free throws in the final two minutes allowed the New Knoxville Rangers to down Minster 43-41 in a match-up of two of the Midwest Athletic Conference's top teams.
“It’s a big win whenever you can come into Minster here and pull off a win, because they’ve got a very good team,” said New Knoxville head coach Tim Hegemier. “I think the girls worked real hard on defense.”
Trailing by three points with just over two minutes remaining in the game, Minster hit three straight free throws, including two by senior Kayla Wuebker, to tie the game at 40 with 52 seconds remaining.
New Knoxville freshman Meg Reineke responded with three straight free throws of her own to give New Knoxville a 3-point lead with 31 seconds remaining.
“Meg is our highest free throw percentage shooter,” said Hegemier, who explained that he told his players to get the ball to either Reineke or Haley Horstman. “Horstman shoots about 76 and Reineke shoots 83, so that’s who I want up there. She’s a cool cat, she can make them.”
Claire Fischer added a free throw for Minster six seconds later to cut the deficit to two points.
New Knoxville’s Tiana Heidt missed two free throws with 7 seconds remaining.
Minster grabbed the rebound and stormed down the court. Rather than attempting a game-tying two-pointer, Wuebker tossed up a would-be game-winning three-pointer to no avail as the final buzzer sounded.
“I would’ve liked to have seen some of those free throws go in down at the end, but we’ll take the win,” said Hegemier.
New Knoxville improved to 16-3 on the season and wrapped up MAC play with a 7-2 record.
Only four players scored for New Knoxville as Heidt led the Rangers with 14 points. Paige Lehman added 12 and Haley Horstman scored 10, while Reineke added 7 points on all free throws.
Tara Clune led Minster with 11 points. Claire Fischer scored 10, while Kayla Wuebker added 8 and Kayla Albers scored 7.
Minster will travel to undefeated Anna on Saturday before closing the season at St. Henry next Thursday. New Knoxville, meanwhile, will travel to Wapakoneta on Tuesday and end the regular season.
New Knoxville at Minster Girls Basketball Photos: