Minster Repeats As State Champions

Pictured are players and coaches of the 2019 Minster Wildcats girls basketball team after beating Ottoville in the Division IV state final on Saturday. The Wildcats beat the Big Green 53-37.
Sports Editor

Just like last season, Minster opened its Division IV state championship on Saturday against Ottoville with a slow start.

And just like last season, Minster came away with a state title.

Propelled by an 18-3 run in the second and third quarters, the Wildcats completed their unbelievable season with another state crown, beating Ottoville again 53-37.

Saturday’s win marks back-to-back state titles for Minster for the 36th in school history -- tied with Cleveland St. Ignatius for sixth most in Ohio High School Athletic Association history.

But at first, it didn’t look like No. 36 was going to happen when Minster trailed most of the first and halfway through the second quarter. The Wildcats trailed 13-9 after the opening quarter but rallied for four straight points to tie the game at 13-13 on a bucket by Courtney Prenger and a bucket by Danielle Barhorst.

Ottoville then took the lead on a Brynlee Hanneman 3-pointer, but it was the last time the Big Green led in the game.

Minster scored the next five points on two free throws by Prenger and a 3-pointer by Janae Hoying to lead 18-16 before a media timeout with 3:28 remaining in the first half. The Wildcats followed that up by outscoring the Big Green 7-3 the rest of the half to lead 25-19 at halftime.

Since Hannaman’s triple, Ottoville was outscored 18-3 in the final 5:27 of the first half.

Riding that momentum, the Wildcats greeted Ottoville in the second half with a 6-0 run on two Prenger buckets and a steal and fastbreak two by Hoying to push the Minster lead to 31-19 just 1:04 into the third quarter.

From there, the game drew no closer than nine points en route to the school’s fourth state title in girls basketball.

Hoying led all scorers with 19 points, followed by Prenger with 16 points and eight rebounds as the Xavier University commit ends her career on the highest of high notes.

Haley Hoersten led the Big Green with 10 points.

Aside from Saturday’s state final being a rematch between the two western Ohio schools, Saturday’s state final began similarly to the way it did last year.

The Big Green led Minster 14-9 after the first quarter, but Minster took a slim lead at the half before pulling away in the second half.