“Rat 1” and “Rat 2.”
That’s what Minster junior Courtney Prenger affectionately calls freshmen basketball teammates Ivy Wolf and Janae Hoying. They’re always in the gym.
“That’s what they are,” Prenger said. “That’s the best kind of rat.”
Thanks to 15 points from each freshman Saturday, 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 basketball state tournament inside Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.
»RELATED: Girls state final four results
Hoying played 23 minutes, was 6-for-6 from the free throw line and had two steals. Wolf had six rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes.
The state title is Minster’s third and first since 2004. The Wildcats (26-3), ranked No. 1 in the MaxPreps.com computer rankings, were also state champs in 1998.
Minster beat Ottoville 55-54 during the regular season. At that time Hoying was playing junior varsity. She has since made an ascent.
»RELATED: Boys state final four pairings
“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. This is how it turned out.”
Wolf and Hoying combined to go 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 1:08.
»RELATED: Boys regional results
“I knew it would be hard,” Hoying said. “We just had to be able to push through and control the pressure. We got it under control and settled in. You have to have the right mindset.”
Prenger, a Xavier commit, led Minster with 17 points. Senior Taylor Kogge (Ohio Northern recruit) added 12.
The state title is Minster’s 33rd overall as a school and extends a recent run. Wiss coached Minster’s baseball team to a state title last spring, while the Wildcats girls track team finished state runner-up. Last fall, Minster won state titles in football and girls cross country.
“I got some texts (Saturday) morning saying we got our rings, go get yours,” Kogge said. “It highers the standards for everyone.”
Standards are also high at fellow Midwest Athletic Conference member Versailles. The school houses 17 state titles.
Playing in its fourth D-III state final in five years, Versailles fell 53-47 to Columbus Africentric on Saturday. Attendance was 3,572.
Ranked No. 1 in the MaxPreps computer rankings and AP poll, the Tigers finish 28-2.
Down 30-21 at halftime, Versailles outscored Africentric 26-23 in the second half and held a 43-42 lead with 5:06 left on a Lindsey Winner bucket.
Senior Kami McEldowney scored a game-high 16 for Versailles. Senior Danielle Winner had seven points and eight rebounds. Lindsey Winner had eight and nine, respectively.
Versailles’ senior class ends with 101 wins. The Tigers claimed the D-III state title in volleyball in November.
“I can’t remember any athletes at Versailles that have 100 wins in their career and these girls do,” Versailles head coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “That’s an incredible feat considering the games we play and the strength of schedule we have.”
The MAC owns 126 total state titles among member schools.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.