By MARC TOBIAS
FORT LORAMIE — Minster was forced to play Fort Loramie,
the second-ranked team in Division IV, without head coach Mike
Lee, but what proved to be even worse was the Wildcats played
without their shooting touch from the free-throw line.
Fort Loramie won 62-54 thanks in large part to the Wildcats
futility from the charity stripe.
Minster connected on just 36 percent (9-of-25) of their chances
from the free-throw line while Fort Loramie drained 83 percent
(15-of-18) of their free-throw attempts.
“The free-throw line has been a culprit of ours all year,
we probably shoot around 55 percent as a team,” said interim
Minster coach Kurt Goettemoeller. “When we don’t
get the right guys to the line we don’t look very well.
I addressed that with the team after the game, but it’s
just a confidence thing. We’ve got some good shooters
out there that aren’t shooting well right now.”
Lee apparently missed the game because he’s had trouble
with his knees, and when they swelled over the weekend he checked
into the Toledo hospital.
Goettemoeller didn’t want to disclose too much information,
but said he expects Lee to leave the hospital in the next day
“We’re hopeful that he’ll be out of the hospital
by tonight or tomorrow and be back on the bench by Friday, and
from that standpoint we pray for him, but I thought our kids
responded tonight and sometimes you have a tendency to do that
when somebody’s down,” Goettemoeller said. “I
thought we stuck together pretty well tonight and were competitive
with the second-ranked team in state. We don’t want any
moral victories, but we’ll take this and head into the
Dane Sommer and Josh Boeke were the only two Wildcats to have
any success from the foul line as both players hit 3-of-4 free
throws. The rest of the Wildcats combined to make 3-of-17 (18
percent) from the line.
“It seems to run in streaks, at Marion we hit 13 out of
14 free throws in the fourth quarter, but that’s the only
night we’ve really shot free throws well all year,”
Goettemoeller said. “When one or two guys make it then
it seems to be contagious, and it’s a confidence thing
Minster was able to get off to a hot start in the game despite
its poor foul shooting because it connected on 7-of-14 from
the field in the first quarter.
The Wildcats grabbed a 17-9 lead when Sommer drove the lane
and found Dean Ripploh underneath for an easy deuce.
Sommer then finished the first quarter by banking in a three-pointer
at the buzzer to put the Wildcats up 20-13.
“I thought at start of game our kids were a little flat,
maybe had game jitters,” said Fort Loramie coach Jason
Shatto. “We weren’t real fluid tonight but give
credit to Minster.”
Shatto said he thought his squads defensive effort was one of
the worst he’s seen all season, except in the second quarter
when his Redskins held Minster to six points.
Minster grabbed a 23-22 lead on a Sommer three-pointer with
just under five minutes to play in the second, but Fort Loramie
answered with a 13-3 run to end the quarter and grabbed a 35-26
“I thought the second group ran the offense as good as
we’ve run it all year in the second quarter. They got
us some good looks, kept us in the game and actually got us
back into it,” Shatto said.
The free-throw troubles for Minster started compiling at the
half as they made 3-of-10 before the break while Fort Loramie
Boeke led a third-quarter charge by scoring eight of his 13
points in the third stanza to get the Wildcats back into the
game, though, and when Aaron Dues scored to cut the Redskins
lead to 44-41, it capped a 9-2 Minster run.
Fort Loramie answered with two Mitchell Goldschmidt free throws
and an offensive put back by Jordan Pleiman at the third-quarter
buzzer to push the lead to 48-41.
Minster continued to fight in the fourth quarter, and when Sommer
hit his fourth three-pointer of the game, it pulled Minster
to within three points at 54-51 with 2:00 to play.
The Wildcats made just 1-of-5 free throws down the stretch,
though, and when Jordan Pleiman put back an offensive board
for one of his 14 points to make the score 56-51, Minster was
never able to get the game back to within one possession of
tying the score.
Pleiman added eight rebounds while Goldschmidt led the Redskins
with 22 points. Kevin Luebke added 10 points and four boards
for the ‘Skins.
Sommer led Minster with 15 points, but it was hard earned as
he connected on only 4-of-14 from the field.
Fort Loramie improves to 19-1 while Minster falls to 11-7.
The Wildcats return to action Friday when they travel to Fort