GIRLS BASKETBALL: Minster downs New Bremen

MINSTER — Minster mixed and matched its line-ups, but still earned a convincing win over its rival New Bremen.

Minster defeated the Cardinals 47-23 in a Midwest Athletic Conference match-up on Thursday night.

Minster earned the big victory despite the absence of Kayla Albers and Bridget Geiger, two of the team’s top scorers.  

“ It was an interesting game,” said Minster head coach Nann Stechschulte.  “One starter’s sick and one had a funeral. So we had some interesting combinations out there today, but that’s why they come to practice every day, so they can get in the games.”

New Bremen head coach Randy Eckert was not happy with his team’s performance in the loss.

“We just came out flat and you can’t come out flat against a team like Minster. They’re going to take it to you and we just didn’t have anything to respond to them,” said Eckert.

Tara Clune led the way for Minster with 16 points, three nights after dominating the paint in a win over Kalida on Monday. Clune again shined inside for the Wildcats.

“She’s coming into her own right now. She’s playing nice defense. She wants the ball. She’ll go out and rip the ball out of the air rather than wait for it now,” Stechschulte said of Clune. “I think she feels comfortable in what she’s doing and she’s grown up a lot in the last two weeks. So hopefully that Tara’s going to stay around.”

After a scoreless opening two minutes, Minster went on a 13-0 run in the opening quarter. The run came courtesy of two buckets by Tara Clune, two baskets by Kayla Wuebker and a free throw by Heather Schmiesing, along with baskets by Kayla Richard and Sara Dahlinghaus.

Minster led 13-0 with 30 seconds left in the quarter before Bremen finally got on the board with a Julie Brown bucket at the buzzer. Minster still led 13-2 after one quarter of play.   

Minster’s hot play continued into the second quarter, where they opened on a 9-0 run, courtesy of baskets by Dahlinghaus, Clune and Natalie Fausey, along with a three-pointer by Wuebker. The Wildcats led 22-2 with 5:02 left in the first half.

Bremen ended the half on a 3-0 run, run thanks to a free throw by Brown and a basket by Megan Brandt.

Despite failing to score during the final 5 minutes of the first half, Minster still led 22-5 at halftime.

“I was happy with our defensive intensity, I think more than anything,” said Stechschulte. … “Basically, the first half was mostly defense. I think we set the tone early with our defense and that kind of tells the story.”

Both teams exchanged baskets to open the second half before Kyla Otting hit a three-pointer for the Lady Cards. Clune answered with two straight baskets for Minster, but Otting hit another trey. Following a Wuebker bucket, Minster led 30-13 with 3:27 remaining in the third quarter.

After a basket by Otting, Minster’s Claire Fischer hit a three-pointer to give her team an 18-point lead with 38 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Moeller answered with another basket for Bremen, but Minster led 33-17 after three quarters of play.

Bremen did outscore Minster 12-11 during the third quarter.

“They finally decided to take the ball to the basket and draw some fouls and stuff, but you can’t just pick and choose when you’re going to do that. You’ve got to do that for four quarters,” said Eckert.

Otting opened the fourth quarter with two free throws for Bremen. Clune answered with a basket for Minster.

Following another Bremen free throw, Minster went on a 6-0 run, thanks to baskets by Clune, Richard and Samantha Hoelscher. Minster led 41-20 with 4:55 remaining.

After an exchange of baskets by both teams and a Bremen free throw, Minster ended the game on a 4-0 run thanks to baskets by Fischer and Fausey.  

Wuebker added for 9 Minster, while Fischer scored 5.

Otting led Bremen with 10 points, while Brown and Moeller each scored 4.

On Saturday afternoon, Minster will travel to Celina, while New Bremen will travel to Troy Christian.