By Gary R. Rasberry
COLUMBUS —æWhen asked to give her views on Robyn Hoying, Mansfield St. Peter’s forward Paula Bartlett, didn’t mince words.
“She’s a strong girl,” said Bartlett. “I couldn’t do much with her.”
There wasn’t much any player could do with the Minster senior in the state tournament.
Hoying was named the Most Valuable Player of the Division IV tournament on Saturday after almost posting a double-double against the Spartans.
The 6-2 senior had 16 points and nine rebounds against St. Peter’s in helping the Wildcats to a second state basketball title. For the two games at the Schottenstein Center, Hoying scored 26 points and pulled down 18 rebounds.
“I think she was pounded pretty hard in there,” said Stechschulte. “She withstood all that. She played like a bull. She got knocked around, knocked in the jaw and kept going back for more.”
Hoying agreed that the game was very physical.
“Every shot that went up, we were hitting bodies,” said Hoying. “It was definitely a wrestling match for the ball. You just have to go in every time and get the ball. It’s been physical against every team in the tournament run.”
Hoying started the run that was the death knell for the Spartans with a pickoff that would make a defensive back proud on a lob pass intended for Spartan Diana Reindl.
“Coach put Val (Bornhorst) and Kristen (Shenk) on them so I could help out,” said Hoying. “I think that really made a difference because they couldn’t use a lob to get it inside. That took away 50 percent of the offense.”
Hoying, the only Wildcat standing over six-feet tall on the Minster roster, had to face off against a St. Peter’s team that featured a frontcourt of 6-1 Reindl, 6-0 Bartlett and 6-0 Gretchen Polinski, the reigning Division IV Player of the Year.
“I think we’ve seen during the tournament run teams with just as big as players,” said Hoying. “We knew what we had to take away and kept pushing them.”
Hoying has had the feeling of playing the state atmosphere before, playing as a sophomore in the Division IV state volleyball tournament and that helped push her goal to winning a state title.
“We came so close, we lost in the semifinals in volleyball,” said Hoying. “We put the state banners on the gym wall and I always wanted to be able to put one up there. Now I finally have my chance.”
The play of Hoying and their teammates gave the Spartans fits and Hoying could tell it in their faces that the game was shifting Minster’s way.
“We really didn’t talk about it, but you could see it,” said Hoying. “When we had that 15-point lead, some of them had that look that they could lose.”