Friday, December 12th, 2008
By Mark Ruschau
Minster hangs on to top Marion Local
  MARIA STEIN - The Minster Wildcats used a huge second quarter and big plays down the stretch to pull off a 50-46 win over the Marion Local Flyers at The Hangar on Thursday night in the Midwest Athletic Conference opener for both squads.
As things transpired, the second quarter was the difference in this one as Minster outscored Marion Local 15-5 in the period to take a 27-16 advantage at the half. In the decisive second period, Minster had its best shooting period of the night as it hit on 6-of-12 shots, including a three-pointer. Senior co-captain Kara Monnin led the way in the period with eight points.
Minster was able to extend its lead in the second period thanks to its defense as the Wildcats held the home team to just four shots and two field goals in the period. The Flyers also committed nine turnovers in the period.
As bad as the second period was, the Flyers were just as good in the third period as they outscored the Wildcats 21-11 to close to within 38-37 after three periods of play. The Flyers were the hot team in the third quarter as they connected on 8-of-12 from the floor, led by six points each from Margaret Wuebker and Rachael Puthoff.
"We had way too many turnovers tonight," said Marion Local coach Treva Fortkamp. "The third quarter was fabulous. I told the girls that if you take away the second quarter we were right in the game and we even had a chance to win. My girls' effort was fantastic in the second half, we did everything we had to do to get back in the game."
Having got back into the game, Marion Local had two chances to take the lead at the outset of the final period but came up empty as Leah Griesdorn, Katrina Brand and Puthoff all missed shots.
Delanie Wolf rebuilt the Wildcats lead to three, 40-37, on a jumper from the right of the lane with 6:17 left. After a Brand free throw made the score 40-38, Becca Steineman took a nice feed from Erica Fullenkamp and scored inside to give Minster a 42-38 lead with 5:40 left.
Steineman's score was to be the last points for Minster for 4:52 but the Flyers were not able to capitalize as they were able to knock off just two points from the Minster lead on two free throws by Brand with 5:56 left.
With 58 seconds remaining in the game, Minster junior guard Sarah Huelsman stepped to the free-throw line and canned two free throws to rebuild the lead to 44-40. It was the start of a tremendous final minute for Huelsman as she stepped to the line four times and hit both ends of four sets of one-and-one opportunities to hold off the Flyers down the stretch.
"They took a run at us in the second half but Kara Monnin stepped up for us and hit a couple of big shots," said Minster coach Nann Stechschulte. "At the end of the game, we were trying to get the ball to Kara to hit free throws but the ball continually went into Sarah's hands and she couldn't do any better than she did, 9-of-10 from the line.
"I told them that one of the big keys to winning games on the road, especially in a conference game, is trying to control the boards and hitting free throws," continued Stechschulte. "I don't know how we did on the boards but we were definitely banging on the boards and we made our free throws."
Monnin led Minster with a game-high 15 points and Huelsman added 11 points.
Brand and Puthoff had 12 points each to pace Marion Local.
Marion Local is back in action on Saturday at Lehman with a 1 p.m junior varsity tip. Minster returns home to take on conference foe St. John's next Thursday.
Additional online stories for this date
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