Late rally carries Minster over Ottoville for girls D-IV state title

Minster defeated Ottoville to win a D-IV girls state basketball championship. ERIC FRANTZ / CONTRIBUTOR

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Minster defeated Ottoville to win a D-IV girls state basketball championship. ERIC FRANTZ / CONTRIBUTOR

Prior to a one-point regular-season loss to Minster in January, Ottoville head coach Dave Klemen noticed a certain Wildcats freshman tearing up his junior varsity team. Friday, that frosh did the same to the Ottoville varsity.

Thanks to 15 points from freshman reserve Janae Hoying and 15 more from freshman starter Ivy Wolf, Minster rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to close with a 16-0 run en route to winning the Division IV state final 63-48 over Ottoville before 4,968 fans at the 43rd annual OHSAA girls state basketball tournament inside Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.

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Hoying played 23 minutes, was 6-for-6 from the free throw line and had two steals. Wolf played 27 minutes and had six rebounds and four assists.

The state title for Minster is the program’s third and first since 2004. Minster (26-3) was also state champ in 1998.

“They’re pretty good,” Klemen said of Hoying and Wolf. “We saw them in the regular season and (Hoying) was playing JV. We were like ‘Mike what are you doing? Get her off the JV and let our reserves have a chance.’ She’s a heck of a ball player. They went into that run where they lost a few games and they needed some more quickness and ball handling to help out Ivy. (Hoying) was not a surprise.”

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Trailing 29-24 in the third, Minster grabbed control as Hoying scored seven points in 21 seconds. She hit a 3-pointer, scored on a steal and then drained two free throws. The Wildcats led 33-29 after that flurry and 41-40 at the end of the quarter.

“Early in the year we knew that in order for us to make a run with the talent we had in our junior and senior classes, Janae had to be a part of it as an extra guard,” Minster head coach Mike Wiss said. “We already had Ivy up. We started to work Janae in in mid-January and it’s continued to grow. We needed to add her to our mix to make this run. We knew that and we made it. This is how it turned out.”

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The teams traded seven lead changes in the first 3:30 of the fourth quarter before junior Courtney Prenger gave Minster the lead for good on a jumper. That score and four consecutive Ottoville turnovers fueled the game-ending run.

Wolf and Hoying combined to go 8-for-8 from the free throw line the final 1:08.

Prenger, a Xavier recruit, led Minster with 17 points. Senior Taylor Kogge, headed to Ohio Northern, added 12.

The Wildcats hit 19-of-24 free throws.

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Ottoville (27-3) suffered a blow with 6:49 left when senior star and Findlay recruit Bridget Landin left the game with a possible concussion. Landin and Prenger got tied up on a screen and Landin hit her head on the floor.

“The turning point was obviously when Bridget got knocked down or fell down,” Klemen said. “There was no malicious intent on the play. It was just a basketball play and she fell down and hit her head. At that time we were tied and then the wheels fell off.”

Said Wiss: “Without Landin on the floor at the end they were struggling to find an identity. We knew exactly where ours was.”

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The state title is Minster’s 33rd overall as a school and the third state title the Wildcats have won this school year (football and girls cross country). Wiss also won a state title last year as the Minster baseball coach.

The Midwest Athletic Conference now has 126 total state titles among member schools.

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