Minster Wildcats 63-39 Friday night at Versailles. After starting the
season 1-3, the Tigers are now 6-5 and 2-2 in the Midwest Athletic
Conference (MAC). Minster falls to 5-5 on the year and 2-3 in the MAC. Versailles was led by junior point guard Clayton Nieport who tallied a game high 16 points. J
Versailles was led by junior point guard Clayton Nieport who tallied a game high 16 points. Jon Richard was right behind Nieport hitting for 15 for the Tigers. Minster was led by Sam Otting’s 10 points, the only double digit scoring for the Wildcats.
Versailles controlled the game in every aspect, executing on offense and dominating defensively.
“It was a good game. The kids played solid and matched up well playing the
zone,” said McEldowney. “Everybody is hitting a stride now and I knew coming
into the season that these kids could shoot the ball.”
The Tigers certainly shot well in this contest, hitting six times from behind the arch. Nieport drained three three balls over a two minute stretch in the second stanza, stunning Minster and electrifying the crowd.
From the opening tip Versailles was focused and ready to play. Nieport started the scoring with a field goal as the Tigers went on 6-0 run opening the game. Minster was able to stabilize responding with a 5-0 run making it 6-5 Versailles.
The Wildcats tied the game at 8-8, but that was the first and last time the game was tied or Versailles did not hold the lead. The Tigers closed out the stanza with a 4-0 spurt, taking a 12-8 advantage after one period of play.
Versailles ripped off a 13-3 run after Minster closed to 12-11 in the opening minutes of the second stanza. The biggest weapon was Nieport and the three ball. The junior hit on the three consecutive trips down the court, giving his team a 27-13 lead. Minster never really recovered from that point and the Tigers dominated the remember of the game.
“The kids are now ready to step up and hit the big shot,” said McEldowney.
“Everybody contributed tonight in the game.”
The Wildcats did manage to find some offense, mostly behind Otting and Logan Sommer, who ended with nine points, but it seemed like every time they got close Versailles had an answer. As the period wore down the lead didn’t move much and the two teams headed to the break with Versailles up 34-21.
It was exactly what the Tigers needed according the McEldowney after suffering a big loss to Marion Local on Tuesday.
“After Tuesday night the kids felt pretty bad and really came back ready to work and were ready to play,” said McEldowney after the game.
Looking for a big comeback, Minster opened the third stanza with a defensive stop and field goal. But that was the highlight of the stanza. Up 34-23 the Tigers went on a 7-0 run with buckets from Bryant Ahrens, Patrick Mescher and a three point play from Nieport making it a 41-23 game. As the period wore on the advantage crept up towards 20 and Minster was in big trouble.
Down 52-33 with only eight ticks remaining, Minster opened the final stanza with a three from Andrew Baumer. But as they had all game Versailles answered with an Ahrens field goal. As the final period wore on it became clear this was not the Wildcats’ night.
The Versailles reserves brought the victory home for McEldowney’s crew and sent Minster home with a 63-39 defeat