Minster Rallies to Stay Unbeaten in MAC

Staff Writer

The rivalry game between the state-ranked Minster and New Bremen girls basketball teams lived up to the billing.

The top-ranked Wildcats overcame halftime and fourth quarter deficits to earn a narrow 47-44 win over the Cardinals on Thursday night in Minster.

The victory keeps Minster unbeaten in the MAC with a 5-0 record, a half game behind Versailles, which kept pace by knocking off Fort Recovery 44-30 in the other MAC match-up between ranked teams.

New Bremen led 24-19 at the half and led as late as the fourth quarter when Paige Jones’ two free throws gave the Cardinals a 41-39 advantage, but Minster sandwiched a forced turnover with a pair of made shots to go up by two and survived a New Bremen last gasp comeback attempt when Kelly Naylor made a 3-pointer to draw the Cardinals to within 45-44.

But Minster sealed the game at the free throw line when Demaris Wolf knocked down a pair of free tosses — on a night Minster struggled at the line going 7-of-14 — to secure the Wildcats’ 13th win of the campaign and continue a treacherous part of its schedule.

After losing its first game of the season at the Classic in the Country to Elyria Catholic last Sunday and getting past New Bremen on Thursday, the Wildcats will host the state’s third-ranked Ottoville Big Green on Saturday and then go to Versailles on Thursday, Jan. 25 for a showdown between MAC unbeatens. Minster’s other big road block in the MAC will be its final conference game of the season, when the Wildcats go to Fort Recovery on Feb. 15 to wrap up MAC play and the regular season.

Courtney Prenger paced Minster with 14 points. Ivy Wolf had 11 points. Demaris Wolf scored nine points.

New Bremen slips to 2-3 in the MAC despite a 13-3 record on the season. The Cardinals’ three losses have come to the other top three teams in the conference — Versailles, Fort Recovey and now Minster. Paige Jones led New Bremen with 17 points, five rebounds and three blocks. Kelly Naylor reached double figures with 11 points and had six steals. Macy Puthoff added nine points and five assists. Jane Homan scored seven points and had seven rebounds.

New Bremen will host New Knoxville on Thursday, Jan. 25.