Upset of Fort Loramie Slips From Minster's Grasp

Minster's Jarod Schulze (50) reaches for the basketball against Fort Loramie's Eli Rosengarten during Saturday's non-conference boys basketball game.
Jake Dowling
Sports Editor

In November, Minster coach Mike McClurg said the Midwest Athletic Conference and the Shelby County Athletic League produce some of the best high school basketball in the state.

And that proclamation was on display on Saturday when Division IV top-ranked Fort Loramie hosted McClurg’s No. 9 ranked Wildcats in a seesaw battle between neighborhood rivals in what felt like a postseason match.

Luckily for the Wildcats, Saturday’s game was not a postseason match and for the Redskins, their perfect record remains intact thanks to a change in momentum in the fourth quarter that sent Saturday’s showdown to overtime where the Wildcats struggled to score from the floor, resulting in a 52-51 defeat.

In the first half, the Wildcats relied on Jarod Schulze’s brut size and play under the basket, leading to 12 first-half points by the junior post player, but Schulze collected his third foul in the third quarter and his fourth with 6:13 left in the fourth stanza, prompting him to go in and out of the Minster lineup where he finished with five points after his fast start to the game.

That forced the Wildcats to scrap against the state’s top team, and they almost pulled it off.

The Redskins had the largest lead of the fourth quarter at 44-41 with 1:57 left in regulation, but back-to-back turnovers by the Redskins gave the Wildcats momentum with a jump shot by Jack Heitbrink and a transition layup by Jared Huelsman, plus a free throw by the senior to give Minster a 45-44 lead with 1:32 left.

The Wildcats extended their lead by one on a single free throw by Mike Ketner with 41.2 seconds remaining. A pair of free throws from Berning tied the game at 46-46 with 31.5 seconds left, giving the Wildcats a chance at the final shot.

However, momentum changed with 5.6 seconds left when Kenter was called for a charge on offense with the game tied at 46-46, eventually forcing overtime.

Loramie took the lead on a pair of free throws by Dillon Braun to open overtime, but Isaac Schmiesing’s floater with 2:00 remaining tied the game at 48-48.

It was the last time Minster tied with Loramie and connected from the floor, when the Redskins took the lead on a shot from Tyler Siegel, followed by three of four free throws from Braun. Sandwich between Braun’s free throws was a pair of foul shots by Mike Ketner to draw within one, 52-51.

After Ketner made to foul shots, Evan Berning was fouled and headed to the line where he missed both shots, allowing Heitbrink to rebound the ball, but the junior passed the ball to Siegel by accident to end the game.

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