Minster Advances To Finals With Take Down Of Top-Ranked Waterford

Sports Editor

 It’s a rematch Ottoville wants and it’s a rematch Minster does not mind sharing.

The Minster Wildcats are one game away from hoisting the school’s 33rd state title and third in a school year after taking down top-ranked Waterford, 46-31 in the second of two semifinal games Thursday at the Schottenstein Center on Columbus.

“It was quite a ball game defensively by us,” Minster coach Mike Wiss said. “We started the game with keeping them in front of us, to be able to keep your knees down and have a high hand and to rebound the dickens out of the basketball.
“I am very happy with effort.”

The win by Minster sets up a date with the Big Green — who handled Buckeye Central in the first semifinal, 44-25 — at 10:45 a.m. Saturday.

The Wildcats defeated the Big Green 55-54 in a non-conference affair at Minster Elementary School Jan. 20.

“I had people from Minster tell me that people from Ottoville — it was a back-and-forth game and we were fortunate to come out on top — but they made the comment that they wanted to see that team again and again can only be one place and that is where we are.”

The Wildcats (25-3) never trailed in Thursday’s semifinal as Minster opened the game with an 11-6 lead, four points each from Taylor Kogge and Courtney Prenger as the 6-foot-2 posts settled in against Waterford’s pair of All-Ohio selections in Alli Kern and Megan Ball.

Minster pushed its lead to 10, 20-10 in the opening minutes of the second quarter on an 8-2 run — four of those from Prenger as the junior star finished the first half with eight points and three rebounds.

While Minster’s post play was solid on the offensive end, the Wildcats post play on defense was even better, limiting Waterford to just two offensive boards in the first half and three for the game.
Waterford came in averaging 15.9 boards per game.

Minster led 25-16 at the half, and withstood Waterford’s attack to end the second half as the team from Washington County used a 7-4 advantage, with a bucket from Ball with 3:23 remaining in the third quarter, to pull Waterford to within six.

But it was the closest Waterford got for the remainder of the game.

Minster limited Waterford — who averages 43.1 from the floor this season — to 12.5 percent after Ball’s bucket pulled Waterford to within six as Minster outscored Waterford 17-8 for the final 11:23 of the game.