COLUMBUS — The only thing Minster didn’t accomplish was taking the game to a 35-point running clock.
The Wildcats did everything else.
Minster steamrolled Cornerstone Christian 65-31 in the Division IV girls basketball state semifinals Friday at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.
Defending state champion Minster (27-1) advances to the state championship game at 5:15 p.m. today against Ottoville (25-3).
It will be a rematch of last year’s state championship game in which Minster defeated Ottoville 63-48.
Courtney Prenger, a 6-foot-2 senior headed to Xavier, led Minster with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Ivy Wolf contributed 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists. She also had three steals for Minster.
Karly Richard came off the bench and had eight points.
Janae Hoying had seven points.
“Last year definitely gave us the experience so we knew what we were getting ourselves into,” Prenger said. “Offensively, we got what we expected. And, defensively, we do what we always do.
“Everyone on this team wanted to win this game and we went out there and had the heart and we wanted it. And now I have the opportunity to play in another state final.’’
Cornerstone Christian, 23-5, was led by Kailey Tyna’s 13 points.
Cornerstone got off to a slow start and wasn’t able to get its offense in sync.
Cornerstone shot 30 percent from the field. Minster shot 57 percent.
“I thought we played tight today and that’s something we can learn from today,” Cornerstone coach Lisa Stopp said.
Stopp felt Minster’s tourney experience played a big part.
“I was hoping it wouldn’t be that big of an advantage, but they had nine seniors returning and that’s a lot to have that cut down nets last year,” Stopp said. “It showed up today that experience on this court makes a difference.
Minster looked right at home early on the Ohio State floor.
“We had a little bit of patience and Ivy handled the ball super and was under a lot of half-court pressure today,” Minster coach Mike Wiss said. “And we found Courtney Prenger inside with some lobs and some cuts from high post to low post. And we have to make sure Courtney touches the ball and that our offense goes through her.’’
The Wildcats simply pounded it inside early to Prenger on the blocks.
And Cornerstone had no answer for Prenger in its man-to-man.
Minster went out to a quick 9-2 lead after Hoying sank a 3-pointer from the right corner.
Minster led 18-6 after the first quarter. Prenger had eight points in the first quarter on four layups.
“Courtney Prenger has one more game in a Minster uniform and she knows how important her job is inside,” Minster coach Mike Wiss said.
Cornerstone went to a 3-2 zone in the second quarter, but Minster was rolling at both ends.
“A zone wasn’t going to be our game plan,” Stopp said. “We knew they could shoot the three ball. They started popping threes. … But they had an answer for everything we did and that’s the sign of a returning state championship team.’’
Minster went to the halftime break with a 34-19 lead.
Cornerstone was totally blanketed by the Minster man-to-man defense.
Cornerstone’s Michaela Cloonan, a second team all-state player, had one point at the half. She finished with two points.
Her twin, Madison Cloonan, who was third team all-state, was scoreless at the half and had three fouls. She finished with six points.
Ivy Wolf guarded Madison Cloonan most of the way.
“Coach told us all week they were quick, so we gave them a step and knew our job was to keep them in front of us,” Ivy Wolf said. “We have a lot of guards on our team and are able to switch and guard anyone on the floor at any time.’’
Minster also owned the glass early, with a 15-8 rebounding edge at the half.
Minster won the boards for the game, 36-14.
“I’m really happy with our efforts on the glass,” Wiss said.
In the second half Minster cranked up its rebound-and-run the floor game.
The Wildcats outscored Cornerstone 12-4 to kick off the third quarter.
That pushed the Minster lead to 46-23 with 2:17 left in the third.
When the Wildcats ran their offense, they rammed it right inside for the layup. Minster’s first seven baskets in the third quarter were layups.
Minster led 48-24 after three quarters and weren’t challenged after that.
For the game, Minster had 27 baskets, of which 19 were layups.
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