After a 4-3 start, Minster got on track with its typical game Thursday – pressure defense, turnovers, and uncontested shots – to beat visiting Jackson Center in non-conference play.
Minster, OH – It hasn’t been such a happy start for Mike Wiss and his Minster Wildcats.
4-3 after seven games, there’s a certain way that Wiss and crew have won games and titles over the years. They just hadn’t been doing it over the season’s first month.
But he was all smiles Thursday following a 56-31 convincing win over visiting Jackson Center because in the space of four quarters and 32 minutes of actual basketball…Minster had returned to form and its all-too-familiar formula of winning.
Turn those turnovers (21 of them) into easy baskets in transition.
“Those are the things we like to do,” said Wiss, afterwards. “That, and we want to get to the foul line. Tonight they got to the line twelve times and we only got there twice. We want to do that better.”
But the rest of it looked like those Wiss teams that used to play in perpetuity back in the days of Ivy Wolf, now playing at the University of Dayton.
They pressured from the outset, turning a bigger, physical, and experienced Jackson Center (5-3) team over five times in its first seven possessions.
They claimed those turnovers and instinctively looked for open teammates in transition. That worked, as Minster led at the end of the first quarter, 18-7.
And in their halfcourt offense they were patient, moved the ball from side to side, created space for open shots…and made those shots. Junior Sadie Niemeyer canned a pair of quick three-pointers to help run the margin out to 28-19 by halftime. Only the shooting of Jackson Center’s McKinley Reichert (10 pts) kept the Tigers within striking distance as the turnovers mounted, along with Minster’s confidence to impose its defensive will.
And as is their custom, Wiss’s ‘Cats shared the basketball and spread it around – eight players scoring, in all, led by Anna Larger’s 14 and Addi Inskeep’s 12, the only players to reach double figures. Adriana Wuebker finished with 7, Kali Schmiesing, Lydia Mescher, and Niemeyer all finished with 6, Annie Hemmelgarn had 3, and Kayla Lamm had two points off the bench – 56, total!
“We’ve been getting better, and we worked on some things in practice this week,” said Wiss, afterwards, emphasizing, as always, the need to coach, and play, for 32 minutes…especially at this time of the year.
“We’re on all different ends of the floor in practice, and that’s the stuff that the girls are hearing the entire time,” he smiled. “That’s where we’re at right now, and the faster we can become better readers on the floor – reading the defense – don’t watch us, but watch the opponent…the better we’re going to be. We had some ‘iffy’ moments tonight, but again…I was pretty pleased with the effort.
“I was really pleased that we hit some 3s when we did. Kali Schmiesing hit a pair in the fourth quarter during that run we had (14-6 to effectively close the book on Jackson Center), and there was a time when they had cut the deficit to nine and we hit some big shots to get it back to double digits. We got Addi Inskeep involved in the middle, so we had a little bit of inside/outside and that’s what basketball is.
“Pressure and transition we’re OK with now,” he concluded with a smile. “We just need to get to the foul line more.”
Two games over .500, they return to more Shelby County League competition on Saturday when they travel to Anna.
“Tough place to play,” added Wiss, “And they’ve got enough experience from last year, too. Brenna Cobb is a nice player.
“And you know every team goes through it. We usually play a MAC team on Thursday and and SCL team on Saturday, and that Jackson Center team is going to be a good team because they’ve got length and they’ve got experience. They’re going to be a tough out later on. So, I’m happy we played the way we played tonight.”
McKinley Reichert ended up leading the Tigers with 16 points, while Presley Reese had 5 and Macy Klopfenstein finished with 4 points for Jackson Center.
Form and formula?
They did all the things you’re accustomed to seeing Minster do, except get to the line. That…they’re working on!