Minster, Fort Loramie Reach Regional Level

Staff Writer

The Auglaize County-Shelby County border is again a girls hoops hotbed, as both Minster and Fort Loramie won district titles and are moving on to the regional level.


The Minster girls basketball team is right where it expected to be when it started the season — playing for a chance to go to state. Undaunted by the task of living up to a top seeding and avoiding an upset at the hands of a familiar opponent, Minster won the district title at Wapakoneta by delivering two straight double-digit wins over fellow Midwest Athletic Conference squads — both 19-win programs that had given the Wildcats scares in the regular season.

“We started the year hoping to get back to Vandalia where we ended last year and here’s our chance,” head coach Mike Wiss said. “We’re right where we wanted to be when it started. Now we have to go do what we do. We do what we do. Sometimes it isn’t the prettiest thing, but that’s who we are.”

Minster got past rival New Bremen 51-33 on Thursday and then knocked off Fort Recovery 53-40 in an impressive display of defense.

The Wildcats will now face Tri-Village in a regional semifinal on Thursday, March 8 at 6:15 p.m. at Vandalia Butler High School. The winner will play the winner of Fort Loramie and Covington for the regional title and a spot in the state’s final four on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., again at Butler High School.

Ivy Wolf led a balanced scoring attack with 12 points. Prenger and Demaris Wolf each had nine points. Alli Fischer added eight points. Minster’s defense held all New Bremen scorers in single-digits and just 10-of-37 shooting. Kayla Bergman paced New Bremen with nine points.

New Bremen bowed out of the tournament after a 19-6 season that included a sectional title and a 5-4 record in the difficult MAC.

This will be Minster’s third straight trip to the regional and fourth trip in the last five years. Minster is looking for its first state berth since the 2009-2010 season.


Much like its path to a 17-win regular season, Fort Loramie had a few moments early in its district title game on Saturday where the relative youth of the team showed, where things weren’t operating  all that smoothly. By the end of the game — and this season — the youngsters, shepherded along by  the upperclass teammates, have figured out they belong on this stage.

A team that at one point had lost four of five games in December has now gone 16-1 since a December 23 loss to Versailles and is  two wins away from state.

Fort Loramie (21-5) was holding up a trophy, bathed in the natural light of  the large windows on one side of the gymnasium and the cheers of the large contingent following their quest for Columbus, after capturing a Division IV district title at Troy High School on Saturday afternoon with a 57-45 win over second-seeded Cedarville.

The Redskins advance to play  Covington in a regional semifinal game at Vandalia Butler High School on Thursday, March 8 at approximately 8 p.m. following the Minster-Tri-Village match-up. The winners of both semifinal contests will advance to the regional title game on Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Butler High School.

Fort Loramie will play in the regional for the 10th time in the last 11 years, avenging last year’s early exit. Fort Loramie didn’t reach the regional level (after losing to Russia in a district semifinal game) for the first time since 2007.

“Last year left a bad taste in the mouth of those seniors,” Fort Loramie head coach Carla Siegel said. “I can’t credit Hattie Meyer and Abby Holthaus enough and even Heather (Eilerman) and Grace (Ruhenkamp) who don’t play but keep our practices tough. We’re here because of our seniors. Look, I know our talent is in our underclassmen, but our seniors are driven and the ones who got us here to day.”

“In the second quarter we settled down,” Siegel said. “I said two things at halftime: Better passes, come to the ball and we have to rebound better. Our offense got better and our passes got cleaner. Once we took care of those two issues, I felt like we were a different team.”

Covington and Fort Loramie did not play each other during the regular season.  The Buccs are 20-6 on the season, going 9-3 in the CCC and 3-1 against Shelby County League teams this season, the lone loss a 38-36 decision to Russia.