Min­ster si­lences top D-II team Car­roll

Dayton Daily News - - SPORTS - By Michael Cooper Con­tribut­ing Writer

The de­fend­ing Di­vi­sion IV state cham­pion Min­ster High School girls bas­ket­ball team is peak­ing at the per­fect time — early Fe­bru­ary.

The D-IV sec­ond-ranked Wild­cats used a 12-0 run in the third quar­ter to pull away from D-II No. 1 Car­roll 50-35 in non­con­fer­ence ac­tion on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

“Hon­estly, this is ex­actly what we needed and I’m not say­ing the win,” said Min­ster coach Mike Wiss. “To have our girls play against that cal­iber of team at this time of year, right be­fore we head into tour­na­ment (is great). That’s my gut feel­ing.”

Carr o ll (20-2) saw its five-game win­ning streak snapped in its fi­nal regu- lar-sea­son game. The game was orig­i­nally sched­uled to be played at the Flyin’ to the Hoop show­case in mid-Jan­uary, but it was post­poned due to in­clement weather.

Elis­a­beth Bush had 10 points for the Pa­tri­ots, who were held to a sea­son-low 35 points.

“Min­ster’s a good team,” said Car­roll coach Ce­cilia Grosselin. “Ku­dos to them. They played great. We’ve got things to work on. Hope­fully, we’ll use this loss to work on those things as we head into the tour­na­ment.”

Min­ster’s Janae Hoy­ing scored a game-high 13 points, while Ivy Wolf had 12 and Court­ney Prenger added 11 for the Wild­cats (20-1).

Min­ster led 24-18 at the half, de­spite hav­ing sev­eral starters in foul trou­ble. It was the bench that kept them in the game, Wiss said.

“I’m pleased with how our bench plays and gives us en­ergy,” Wiss said.

The Pa­tri­ots scored four straight to pull within a bucket at 24-22 early in the third quar­ter. The Wild­cats coun­tered with back-to-back 3-point plays by Hoy­ing and Court­ney Ernst, two free throws by Hoy­ing and a bas­ket by Ivy Wolf to make it 34-22 with 2:30 re­main­ing in the pe­riod.

The Pa­tri­ots wouldn’t get any closer than nine points the rest of the way. Min­ster used a 3-2 zone to keep Car­roll away from the bas­ket. The Pa­tri­ots went cold in the fourth quar­ter, scor­ing eight points. They were forced to foul as Min­ster was con­tent to run the clock out in the fi­nal three min­utes.

“Some­times shots just don’t fall — that’s the game of bas­ket­ball,” Grosselin said.

Min­ster trav­els to St. Henry (16-5) in its fi­nal reg­u­lar sea­son game on Thurs­day. With a vic­tory, the Wild­cats will clinch the out­right Mid­west Ath­letic Con­fer­ence ti­tle.

Car­roll earned the No. 1 seed in the D-II sec­tional at Spring­field next week. The Pa­tri­ots will play 13th-seeded Mead­ow­dale at 12:30 p.m. Satur­day at Spring­field High School. Last sea­son, the Pa­tri­ots ad­vanced to a D-II dis­trict fi­nal game, fall­ing to Franklin 53-51 in tri- ple over­time.

“We’ll go back and watch film and fig­ure out what we need to work on and pre­pare as best as we can,” Gross- elin said.

CON­TRIB­UTED BY MICHAEL COOPER

Car­roll’s Ava Lick­liter drives to the hoop against Min­ster’s Court­ney Ernst dur­ing their game in Day­ton on Sun­day. Min­ster won 50-35.

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