Cardinals, Wildcats Fall In District Semi

Minster's Jack Heitkamp drives to the basket during a Division IV boys basketball district semifinal on Tuesday at Wapakoneta High School.
Sports Editor

Eighteen points, including the game’s first 12 points by Tyler Mescher, catapulted Marion Local to a district final, while St. Henry held off a last-minute run by Minster in the second game of Tuesday’s Division IV district semifinal doubleheader.

The Flyers opened the first game with the first 12 points from Mescher for a 12-0 lead, as the senior ended the first quarter with 14 of Marion Local’s 20 points for a 20-3 lead.

New Bremen, meanwhile, struggled from the floor, shooting 1-of-11 in the first quarter and not scoring another basket until Koby Paul connected with 2:28 remaining in the first half. By that time, the Flyers were already up 32-5.

The Flyers had their 12-0 run to open the contest and after Nolan Bornhorst’s 3-pointer to end Marion Local’s run, the Flyers scored the game’s next 20 points, seven from Nathan Bruns.

While New Bremen shot 3-of-18 from the floor, the Flyers also feasted on the Cardinals’ first-half turnovers, turning 10 New Bremen miscues into 14 points for Marion Local as the Flyers led 38-7 at half, activating the running clock in the second half.

Bornhorst led the Cardinals with six point, while Levi Clem, Avery Powers and Grant Hoehne each scored four points for the Cardinals. Mescher led all scores with 20 points, followed by 14 from Bruns. 

The Cardinals — who won a sectional title for the first time since 2015 — end their season at 11-14.

Game 2 was looking like a carbon copy of a Jan. 29 Midwest Athletic Conference game that saw the Redskins pull away from the Wildcats with a second-half run, but Minster did not let history repeat itself, storming back from a 10-point deficit with 5:37 left in regulation.

However, a last-second jump shot by Adam Knapke could not go as the Redskins survived a 49-46 semifinal.

Minster hung with St. Henry in the first half by shooting 41 percent from the floor, compared to the Redskins’ 30 percent.

But St. Henry shot 4-of-8 from 3-point land — all from Curtis Ulenhake — as the 6-foot-3 sharp-shooting senior scored nine of his 15 points in the second half.

Minster last had the lead with 4:10 left in the third quarter on a bucket and foul by Alex Lehmkuhl, but St. Henry scored 14 of the game’s next 16 points, including a 7-0 run to end the quarter for a 34-29 lead.

St. Henry added a basket to open the fourth quarter to extend its run and push its lead to 36-29 with 6:54 remaining, and despite two free throws from Minster’s Jarod Schulze, the Redskins extended their lead to 10 points, 41-31, with 5:37 remaining.

But Minster closed the gap to eight following a timeout and nine of the game’s next 11 points to pull within one, 47-46 on a free throw from Mike Ketner, back-to-back buckets from Knapke, with the latest being a 3-pointer in the left corner, and a nice drive-in basket from Ketner with 24.5 seconds left.

Following 1-of-2 free throws from Ryan Luttmer, Minster trailed 48-46 with 20 seconds left when the ball was kicked out to Knapke, but deflected , messing up the timing of the play as the senior was forced to drive to the basket, missing a chance to tie the game by mere inches.

Uhlenhake finished the night with a game-high 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from behind the arc. Zach Niekamp followed with nine points. Minster was led by Ketner's 11 points, followed by nine points from Isaac Schmiesing. 

Minster ends its season at 15-8.