Wildcats Claim Minster's 33rd State Title

Minster's Jessica Falk and Lilly Pelletier celebrate after winning Saturday's Division IV state final against Ottoville, 63-48.Minster's Courtney Prenger grabs the ball for a rebound.Minster's Taylor Kogge attempts a shot in heavy traffic.Minster's Janae Hoying drives to the basket to give the Wildcats the lead in the third quarter.
Sports Editor

No. 4 Minster 63, No. 2 Ottoville 48.

Minster captures its 33rd school title and 126th state title overall for the Midwest Athletic Conference

After Minster’s regional semifinal win against Tri-Village last week, Minster head coach Mike Wiss talked about his pair of gym rats — freshman Ivy Wolf and Janae Hoying — and how it was a good thing to be a gym rat at this time of year.

For Wiss, his players, coaches and the Minster community, it’s a good thing those two gym rats wear black and orange.

A game-tying 3-pointer from Hoying, followed by a steal and transition two gave Minster momentum and its first lead of the game at 31-29 with 4:32 remaining in the third quarter, the Wildcats outscored the Ottoville 32-19 from that point on, leading Minster to its 33rd state title with a 63-48 championship game victory on Saturday at the Schottenstein Center.

“Early in the year, we made a decision — and we didn’t know it when the decision was made — but in order to go on a run with the team talent that we had in our junior and senior classes, Janae had to be a part of it as an extra guard,” Wiss said. ‘We already had Ivy up and we started to work Janae in the middle if January and it continued to grow.
“Today, she played 23 minutes and had 15 points off the bench. We needed to add her to the mix to make this run. We made the move and this is out it turned out.”

More impressively, the Wildcats ended Saturday’s championship game on a 16-0 run after facing a 48-47 deficit with 4:45 remaining in the game, limiting the Big Green to 0-of-5 shooting from the floor and seven turnovers, eight points off those turnovers.

“I knew it was going to be hard because Ottoville has such great guards so we had to have great defense,” Hoying said. “We got under control and we settled in.”

Hoying and Wolf both scored 15 points, accounted for 47.6 percent of Minster’s final score, 62.5 percent of Ottoville’s final tally, and scored 15 of the game’s final 48 points.

Thirteen of Hoying’s 15 points came in the final 12:48 of the game, while Wolf finished with eight second-half points.

Check out pictures of Saturday's Division IV state final girls basketball game on The Evening Leader's Facebook Page.


A turning point of the game, however, came with 6:49 left in the game with Minster leading 43-42 when Ottoville’s All-Ohio First-Team selection Landin Bridget landed hard on the floor and never returned for the rest of the game.

The Big Green saw just six more points after Landin exited the game. Landin finished with 13 points.
“We knew that we couldn’t take an easy on them just because she (Landin) was out,” Courtney Prenger said. “We knew that just because she was out, that they were going to stop going hard.”

Ottoville opened the game with a 10-2 lead by making four of its first five shots, five points each from CJ Kemper and Kasey Knippen as the Big Green used their size in the paint to overwhelm Minster.
“Ottoville’s 10-2 run to open the game saw Minster on its heels a little bit,” Wiss said. “Once we got out of that, we were able to do more full-court pressure to try to get them out of sync a little bit and cutting the deficit to four points was a big deal.”

The Wildcats pulled the game to within four twice, 18-14 and 20-16 halfway through the second quarter and closed the first half down 24-20.

Taylor Kogge and Prenger both combined for 11 points for Minster, trailing Wolf’s seven points at the half.

Minster opened the second half by turning up the pressure and forcing Ottoville into 12 second-half turnovers as Minster scored one-third of their points off Ottoville turnovers.

“We approached the first three or four minutes of the third quarter as being very important in how the rest of the second half was going to go,” Wiss.

The state title marks the first one for Minster since 1998 and the third overall for the girls basketball program. Minster has now claimed 33 state titles, the seventh-most in the state and two shy of the next highest team in Cleveland St. Ignatius (35).

Saturday’s state final win is the third state title for Minster during the current school year and the fourth overall in a calendar year, including baseball (June), cross-country (November) and football (December).