Neighbors, Rivals and State Semifinalists Fort Loramie and Minster meet again

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Fort Loramie senior Janel Olberding scored a team-high 14 points in a close loss to Minster. It was just Olberding’s third game.

Prelude to a Championship? The huge matchup between Fort Loramie and Minster that was “whisked
away” in the girls Division IV state semifinals last season, played out
Saturday under tournament-like conditions. And this contest didn’t
disappoint.


Prelude to a Championship?

The huge matchup between Fort Loramie and Minster that was “whisked
away” in the girls Division IV state semifinals last season, played out
Saturday under tournament-like conditions. And this contest didn’t
disappoint.

Matching full-throttle, defensive intensity for 32 minutes, Minster
preserved more gas in the tank to edge out Fort Loramie 42-38 in
non-league excitement.

Both coaches commented on the atmosphere.

“We are only three miles apart,” Minster head coach Nann Stechschulte
said. “Both teams were ranked high in preseason polls. This game was
like a district final atmosphere. The fans were into it. You could feel
the intensity and excitement. Both teams played hard. Fun game.”

Said Fort Loramie head coach Carla Siegel : “The atmosphere was
fantastic. The fans wonderful. Big crowd for a game this early in the
season. Nice to see.”

Both teams put on a defensive clinic, trapping and pressing in
lock-down mode, causing the offenses to look anemic, almost spastic-like
at times. Early on, both squads had more turnovers than points, as
evidance by the 7-7 first quarter score.

And in the process, both coaches matched wits.

“She was pulling out a lot of strings and I was pulling strings. We
knew what to expect. They knew what to expect from us. I have a scouting
report this thick,” Stechschulte said, holding her fingers four inches
apart. “I’m sure she has the same thing. She makes a call and I scream
this. I make a call and she screams that.”

Heather Schmiesing put the Wildcats on the board first with a bucket
in the paint.

Then Clair Ruhenkamp, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, picked
up her second foul at the 5:45 mark.

Said Siegel: “Her getting into foul trouble was key. That changed
things.”

But the Redskins didn’t blink. Freshman Darian Rose made 2-of-4 free
throws. Brooke Turner added a foul shot and Janel Olberding scored on a
10-footer along the baseline for a 7-4 lead.

But like all game, Kayla Albers bombed a three from the perimeter to
knot the score 7-7. In all, she converted four threes from the parking
lot. Each time the refs had to wipe the snow off the ball. Albers
finished with a game-high 14 points off the bench.

Said Stechschulte: “She had her feet set and she buried them. She
adds a different dimension to our team with her three-point shooting.”

The ebb and flow of the second quarter was much like the first,
turnovers and missed shots. Fort Loramie was guilty of 13 turnovers and
22 percent shooting in the first half. Minster committed 11 turnovers
and shot 31 percent from the field.

Minster grabbed a 9-7 lead on a Delanie Wolf swisher, but Olberding
rebutted with a three from the wing for a 10-9 Loramie lead.

The Wildcats went on a 9-2 run to take an 18-12 halftime advantage.
Schmiesing made two free throws. Erica Fullenkamp banged a fade-away
12-footer. Maria Dahlinghaus drove it to the rack for a three-point-play
and Kayla Wuebker scored on the block with a nice pump-fake.

There were seven lead changes and two ties in the second half.

Not playing for almost 14 minutes of the first half, Ruhenkamp made
her presence known in the third quarter. She scored on a stick-back off
of her own miss and then made two foul shots to pull Loramie within one,
20-19. Moments later, Brooke Turner made a free throw to knot it at
20-20 with 3:52 left in the quarter.

Rose stole a rebound from Wolf and cashed in from point-blank to
reclaim the lead. But it didn’t take long for Albers to hit another
three from the corner to retake the lead. But then it didn’t take long
for Olberding to respond with a floater down the lane to give Loramie a
24-23 edge at the 1:23 mark of the third quarter.

Dahlinghaus converted two foul shots and then after a Loramie
turnover, the Lady Wildcats milked the clock over a minute, before
Albers bombed again for a 28-24 quarter-ending margin.

Olberding connected with a three from the corner and then scored
again on a stickback as the Lady redskins reclaimed the lead 29-28 at
the 5:18 mark of the game.

Tori Maurer extended the lead 31-28, scoring on a fast-break layup
with 4:41 remaining.

Tara Clune scored twice inside and Albers hit a three to knot the
score 35-35 with 3:05 left. From there, Minster outscored Fort Loramie
7-3 to secure the hard-fought win.

Only playing calculated minutes due to a foot injury, Olberding paced
the Lady Redskins with 14 points.

Said Siegel: “This was Janel’s third game. She hasn’t started yet.
She can’t play a whole game yet. We’re not at 100 percent as a team, but
we’re getting there.”

Only playing calculated minutes due to foul trouble, Ruhenkamp
finished with six points, eight below her 14.4 season average.

Rose added 10 points for Loramie and in the words of Siegel “is a
hard-nosed player who had a pretty good game. She is an asset to the
team. She complements the seniors well.”

For Minster, Wolf scored seven points and Dahlinghaus added six.
Clune chipped in four points, all in the pivotal fourth quarter.

Concluded Stechschulte: “I’m just happy to come out on this side of
it. We’ve had a tough stretch of road games against Marion Local,
Delphos St. John’s, and Fort Loramie over eight days.”

The Lady Wildcats remain unbeaten at 5-0 and travel to the Vicki Mauk
Holiday Classic against Elida December 28 and 29.

Said Siegel: “I was frustrated the way we handled the ball under
pressure. We knew Minster would be after us and I got seven seniors on
this team and they didn’t do a very good job. Sloppy on offense and shot
selections not very good. I’m disappointed with the lack of senior
leadership.”

The Lady Redskins fall to 5-2 and host Houston in a league game
Tuesday.

Who knows, maybe these contenders will meet again March 19 on a
bigger stage.

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