The Minster Lady Wildcats beat sickness and got well, sudden-like, at Coldwater’s expense. Now, they get a week off before meeting Marion Local.
Coach Mike Wiss had just 8 players available for practice Monday because of illness, and their repetition time in practice had been limited all week.
The Coldwater Cavaliers might not believe that.
Minster, looking extremely healthy, shot out to a 20-6 first quarter advantage, increased the margin to 34-10 at the break, and coasted to a 61-31 Midwest Athletic Conference victory at Minster High School.
It’s the Wildcats 14th straight win in the series, a streak that dates back to January 12, 2006, when the Cavaliers prevailed 62-40.
“I challenged the kids before the game,” Minster coach Mike Wiss said after improving to 89-9 (WHAT!) as the Wildcats coach. “We don’t play Saturday; this was our only game of the week. So I challenged them to leave everything on the floor. Our goal was to play harder, to play smarter, longer. I think we did that on both ends of the floor.”
The win pushes the Wildcats to 11-2 overall and 3-1 in the league heading into the game of the year in the MAC so far, next Thursday at Marion Local. The Flyers improved to 13-0 and 4-0 with a 53-23 win over Parkway.
Ivy Wolf and Jaenae Hoying once again led the way for the Wildcats. Wolf, who started as a freshman and is still just a junior, scored 9 points in the first quarter as the Cats jumped on the Cavaliers from the opening tip. Hoying, who is also just a junior, took over in the second quarter, scoring 9 points as Minster widened its lead to 24.
“We did a really nice job defensively,” Wiss continued. “We came in at half and had over 20 deflections and 8-plus dives on the floor. Pressure defense. That really defines who we are.”
Wiss played much of his bench early but said the week’s illness was only part of the reason.
“Maybe a little because of the illness, but I will play 8 in the first quarter, and nine if I can do it. Getting the start that we did, holding them to 10 points in the first half, that’s a big deal. We wanted to limit (Lauren) Gilliland’s opportunities and control (Kate) Leichty from the arc, and we were able to do that.”
Gilliland did not score in the first half, and Leichty, the Cavaliers second leading scorer, didn’t score at all.
Wolf and Hoying each added 7 points in the third quarter and the Wildcats led by 30 after 3 and coasted to their 10th win in 11 games.
“Ivy and Janae have the ability to step back from a ball screen and either take the shot or go to the hole, depending on what the defender does,” Wiss explained. “They have the ability to play that game, and did it really nice tonight.”
The three-ball was big for the Wildcats all night. Ivy Wolf made three, Hoying knocked down three and Averi Wolf added 2 triples as Minster went an unofficial 8 for 12 from the arc. Wolf finished the night with a game high 20, while Hoying finished with 19, which matched her total from last seasons state championship game against Ottoville.
“We do enough shooting drills during the week. Minster has to shoot,” Wiss added with a smile. “But we also emphasize paint touches. I would like our posts to square up and look at the rim a little bit more, but those paint touches makes the outside game a little bit easier.”
Give credit to Coldwater, now 5-7 after its second loss in three days. The Cavaliers played hard and never gave up, but couldn’t overcome Minster’s defense, which forced 18 turnovers, including 12 in the first half.
By the numbers, and extremely unofficial, Coldwater shot 38% , didn’t make a three point shot, and went 5 of 8 from the line. The Wildcats shot 46% from the floor, 64% from the arc, and 8 of 10 from the line.
Coldwater had a 21-15 edge on the boards but had 18 turnovers to the Wildcats 8.
Senior Lauren Gilliland had a team high 10 points for the Cavaliers, While Annalise Harlamert added 9 and 6-2 freshman Riley Rismiller (remember that name) had 8 off the bench.
Now, the Wildcats get a week to prepare for the showdown with Marion, which will take place on the Flyers’ court.
Wiss said the goal for the week ahead is a simple one.
“Keep getting better. Just keep improving. Marion is having a great year. I haven’t seen much of them yet, but I will be spending most of my weekend on that one. They have some nice pieces, and they do some nice things. I know they are looking forward to it, and I know our girls are too.”