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01-31-04: Minster rides hot shooting

Wildcats shrug off previous week’s woes

Standard Correspondent

MARIA STEIN — The Minster Wildcats did their part Friday night to try to bring some warmth to Flyer Country.
With temperatures outside hovering near or even below the zero mark, the Wildcats heated up the Hangar with some sizzling shooting on their way to a 62-57 Midwest Athletic Conference victory over the Marion Local Flyers.
The win improves Minster’s season mark to 8-4 and puts them above .500 in the MAC with a 3-2 ledger. Marion falls to 6-4 overall and 2-3 in the conference.
After struggling mightily from the field and scoring just 29 points in a loss to St. Henry last week, Minster turned things around nicely in this one by hiting on 18 of their 33 attempts for a nifty 55 percent display.
What broke the Flyers’ backs, though, was the visitors’ marksmanship from outside the three-point arc, as they connected on 10-of-19, or 53-percent of their trey tries.
“We had an extremely tough weekend last week and you just try to get rid of (the memory) as quick as you can,” said Minster coach Mike Lee. “We challenged our kids this week because we were going out on the road in league play. This was a big win for us, and hopefully it gets our confidence level back up again.”
Minster’s long-ranging bombing provided almost all of its scoring in a tight first half. Dane Sommer hit five of his team’s seven three-balls, and the resulting 21 points from treys helped the visitors to a 26-23 lead at the intermission.
After a nip-and-tuck third period, the Wildcats threatened to pull away midway through the fourth. Two consecutive bunnies by Josh Boeke gave the visitors a 10-point lead with three minutes remaining, but the Flyers quickly put together a rally.
Five straight Marion free throws brought the Minster lead down to five, and a Curtis Moeller jumper pulled the hosts within three points with two minutes left in the game.
The comeback came up short, though, thanks to some lights-out free-throw shooting by Minster. The visitors sank 11-of-12 free throws down the stretch to keep Marion at bay.
“It’s going to look like we spent a number of hours at the free-throw line this week because of what we did last weekend,” said Lee. “The kids’ confidence might have been shaken a little bit, but it was very evident that what we did (from the foul line) tonight was much more impressive than what we’ve done the last two to three weeks put together.”
For his part, Marion coach Keith Westrick couldn’t understand how his team continued to give open looks to Minster’s long-range gunners.
“The difference in the ballgame was mental lapses where we wouldn’t cover Sommer,” said Westrick. “The kids were knowledgeable about what they had to do, but we just broke down. We knew what they liked to do and we just let them do it. You’ve got to give Minster credit, but you just can’t allow a team to do the things it wants to do. In order for us to become a good team we have got to get smarter in what we do.”
Sommed led all scorers on the night with 23 points, and Tim Cordonnier joined his teammate in double digits with 17.
Russell Moeller led the Flyers with 21 points, and Cory Luebke chipped in with 15.
Both teams return to action tonight with games against teams from the Shelby County League. Minster hosts Botkins while Marion will entertain Anna.


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