In the words of Lehman senior Dylan Arnold…the Cavaliers have to put Wednesday’s horrible performance behind them. Minster stuffed the Cavaliers at every turn to remain unbeaten.
Sidney — It is probably the truest adage in sports.
If you can’t score, you can’t win.
The Lehman Cavaliers can add “if you don’t rebound, and if you turn the ball over”— you get the idea.
The Minster Wildcats rolled into Schlater Gymnasium Wednesday night and dominated at both ends of the floor, thrashing the Cavaliers 56-26 to go 3-0 after their third win in five days.
Playing without head coach Tim Gleason, who was out after surgery earlier in the day, the Cavaliers tied the score at 11 on a Dylan Arnold bucket two minutes into the second quarter.
After that…it was ALL Minster.
Over the next 11 minutes, the Wildcats went on a 23-4 run to open a 34-15 lead, and the outcome was decided.
“We are playing really good defense,” said Minster first year head coach Michael McClurg. “We have things to work on, and right now we are playing so many games, we aren’t getting a lot of practice time. But our defense has been sharp.”
Lehman simply didn’t have the offense to come back. The Cavaliers shot 20% from the floor on 7 of 35 shooting, were out-rebounded 40-17, including 18-3 on the offensive glass, and committed 16 turnovers.
“The only place for us to go, hopefully, is straight up,” said Arnold, one of only two Cavalier seniors. He led Lehman with 13 points.
“It’s a bad loss, but we have to put it behind us. Just have to come back strong tomorrow and get ready for Friday . Correct the mistakes and play better.”
The Wildcats were balanced offensively, with 11 players getting into the scoring column. Sophomore Mike Ketner led the way with 9 points, and Bryce Schmisesing added 8. Defensively, and on the boards, it sometimes appeared as though the Wildcats were playing 7 to the Cavaliers 5. On more than one occasion Minster grabbed two or three offensive rebounds before finally putting the ball through the hoop.
“We have a very unselfish group of guys,” McClurg explained. “It starts with our seniors. It just the way these guys are wired. There isn’t the one dominant or standout player on our team and I think that’s healthy. You have to play everybody that’s out there.”
Arnold was honest in his assessment of the Cavaliers night.
“We had a lot of bad decision making, a lot of bad discipline. We got out-hustled a lot of the time. Like I said, we have to put this behind us and do better on Friday (at home against Marion Elgin).
The Wildcats shot just 38% from the floor, but their massive edge on the boards allowed them to score at will despite that poor shooting. The Wildcats were 6 of 16 behind the arc, and 6 of 10 at the line.
Lehman went 1-6 shooting threes, and did make 11 of 14 at the line for about their only offensive highlight of the night.
The Wildcats got a two-week late start on the season because of the football teams post-season success. McClurg said there has been no hang-over effect.
“We played Coldwater less than two weeks after the state championship games. Then we gave up 38 points to Wapakoneta Monday. So I think we are playing fine. The late start comes into play in lack of practice time. This week we are playing Monday, Wednesday, Friday. That limits your practice time. But we are getting better.”
McClurg succeeded Mike Lee at Minster after Lee stepped down after 23 seasons and more than 300 wins.
“It’s about teaching the kids to do things the right way,” McClurg said about his first head coaching job. “You want to give them the best chance to win, but ultimately, they have to get it done
“We have a good mix of kids. We started two sophomores tonight (Ketner and 6-8 Jarod Schulze), we have a great senior class, and 16 of our 24 players were on the football team. Success brings success, and the football success definitely helps us. It’s a good blend, and the unselfishness has been the key to the way we are playing so far.”