Third Time's A Charm For Wildcats

Minster's Kendra Thein, Alli Fischer, Paige Thobe, Taylor Kogge and Regan Wuebker celebrate their Division IV regional championship on Saturday at Butler High School.
Sports Editor

The third time was the charm for the Minster Wildcats.

After losing to Fort Loramie in a regional semifinal two years ago and again in a regional final to Jackson Center last season, the Wildcats finally punched their ticket to the biggest dance in the state, the Division IV state tournament next week at the Schottentstein Center with their 44-28 victory against Fort Loramie on Saturday.

"It is the best feeling in the world," Courtney Prenger said when asked what it feels like knowing that her team is going to state. "We had the goal of going to state last season, but we let it slip through our fingers and it was not a good feeling and it was something we dwelled on for a long time.
"We made it a goal of ours to work hard during the summer and during the season to get to the Schottenstein."

The Wildcats (24-3) will play top-ranked Waterford (26-1) in the second of two state semifinal game 3 p.m. Thursday.

It is the first time a Minster team has advanced to the state tournament since the 2009-10 season, when that Wildcats team lost to Berlin Hiland, 49-48, in a state semifinal.

Holding onto a two-point halftime lead, the Wildcats opened the second half with a 13-0 run ­— six from Prenger — while the Minster defense forced eight turnovers on the Redskins, scoring eight points off Fort Loramie’s miscues.

By the 3:04 mark of the third quarter, Minster enjoyed its largest lead of the game at 31-16, courtesy of its 13-0 run, on 5-of-12 shooting from the floor. The Redskins, on the other hand, did not record a bucket from the floor until Marissa Meiring connected with 2:45 left in the stanza.

Following a regional semifinal on Thursday where the Wildcats feasted on Tri-Village with five first-half 3-pointers, Minster connected on just two Saturday, and instead, feating on the Redskins in the paint.

The Wildcats led by as much as 8-2 in the first quarter, scoring all by one point off of Fort Loramie's seven turnovers, but the Redskins ended the final 3:38 of the opening quarter outscoring Minster 10-4 to make it a 12-8 game heading into the second quarter.

A 3-pointer by Taylor Ratermann tied the game at 16-16 with 35 seconds left in the first half as a pair of free throws from Ivy Wolf gave the Wildcats their 18-16 lead heading into the half.

For the full story, see Monday’s print edition of The Evening Leader.