VANDALIA – The Minster Lady Wildcats coasted to a 60-50 win over the Tri-Village Patriots in OHSAA D-IV Sweet Sixteen tournament play.
“Our kids played really hard tonight and that’s all you can ask,” said Tri-Village coach Brad Gray. “They gave every ounce of effort they had to give. I’m proud of them. It hurts losing, no one likes to loose but I walk out of here feeling as good about my team as I felt at any point this year.
The Lady Wildcats took an 18-7 lead after one period of play that would prove to be one point better than the final 10-point difference in the game.
Minster stretched its lead to 17-points midway through the second period before the Lady Patriots battled back to match the Lady Wildcats 14-second quarter points sending the teams to the break with Minster leading by a 32-21 score.
The first 12-minutes or so we gave them a 17-point spot,” Gray stated. “It’s tough to dig yourself out of that hole, but really proud of my kids. We got it within striking distance, we didn’t fold. We took a timeout down 17 and gave them two options; either we fold and get our tails beat by 50 or we can come back and fight, scratch and claw and see what happens and they chose to fight.”
“I thought we did a lot of good things offensively in terms of not turning it over too much,” continued Gray. “I knew that would be a challenge.
Tri-Village took period No. 3 by a 10-7 score to win the defensive third quarter battle and trail 39-31 with one period to play.
“Out press was pretty good at them and we’re not a pressing team,” Gray noted. “I thought it had them rattled a little bit. That is something we hadn’t seen on film. We never really saw them get rattled when teams pressured them – they would usually build a little cushion when teams pressured them.”
“I thought we did a lot of good things offensively in terms of not turning it over too much,” said Gray. “I knew that would be a challenge.”
The scrappy Lady Patriots cut the Minster lead to six – 54-48 with 0:55 showing on the fourth quarter clock only to be forced to send the Lady Wildcats to the line in the closing seconds.
Minster took advantage of 15-of-17 at the fourth quarter charity stripe taking the final period 21-19 to earn a 60-50 win and advance in tournament play.
Tri-Village seniors Payton Bietry and Emma Printz played their final basketball game for the Lady Patriots.
“That’s the worst part of this – when you lose kids,” said Gray. “We are so close and those two really want to be a part of this as we continue to move forwards.”
“Payton has been a four year kid that’s really been a role kid,” Gray said. “She’s bought into it more and more each year. When she plays, she plays with every ounce of effort that she can give. She’s really and extension of me on the floor, she’s a basketball smart kid, she really understands what should be happening out there on the floor. She does a good job of just being a calming influence a lot of times to us because she can get us slowed down and calmed down. I’m going to miss her to death.”
“A four year kid, a three year starter, has done a lot of great things,” Coach Gray said of Printz. “Obviously can light up a scoreboard pretty quick when she gets it going. A really passionate kid that single handedly can change the pace of a basketball game and there are not many kids that can do that.”
“Her basketball career will go on and I am really happy for her,” added Gray. “She’s going to be in a pretty good situation at Bethel College. I look forward to seeing how she blossoms when she gets there. She has been a really good kid for us and I’m going to miss her to death too.”
TRI-VILLAGE 50, MINSTER 60
TR-VILLAGE – Maddie Downing 17, L. Siler 13, E. Printz 10, Meghan Downing 6, Andie Bietry 4 – TOTALS 11 16-20 4 50
MINSTER – D. Wolf 23, I. Wolf 17, J. Hoying 8, C. Prenger 8, J. Falk 3, K Richard 1 – TOTALS 12 21-24 5 60
Tri-Village 4 (L. Siler 3, E. Printz 1)
Minster 5 (D. Wolf 3, I. Wolf 1, J. Falk 1)
SCORE by QUARTERS:
07-14-10-19 50 Tri-Village
18-14-07-21 69 Minarwe