February 9, 2024 at 2:29 a.m.

Slow start

Tribe goes down early as turnover trouble prevents comeback


MINSTER, Ohio — The first quarter didn’t go the way the Indians wanted it to.

Things got even worse in the second as their thinning roster took another hit.

The Fort Recovery High School girls basketball team’s turnover problems were compounded by losing its two primary guards to foul troubles and an injury in the second quarter Thursday as the Minster Wildcats beat the Indians 50-30.

Throughout the game, Fort Recovery (7-13, 2-6 Midwest Athletic Conference) struggled to take care of the ball, as it ended up with 22 turnovers.

“We didn’t handle their pressure very well tonight,” FRHS coach Tyler Deitsch said. “They run that run and jump press really well and it’s different rotations that our younger girls haven’t seen.

It’s tough to adjust and work on that on one or two days’ notice. … It’s tough to simulate that in a couple days with an inexperienced and young group that hasn’t done that before.

“It’s tough to get a good look at that. We can talk about it and look at it in film, but to actually go out and do it is a little bit different.”

After six first-quarter turnovers and multiple in the second, taking care of the ball would get harder for the Indians as Cali Wendel picked up her third foul with 3 minutes, 21 seconds left in the half off of an Annie Hemmelgarn offensive rebound.

The foul took one the primary ball handler for the Indians off the floor, but only for a minute. With 2:18 left in the half, Makenna Huelskamp went down with an apparent knee injury that sidelined her for the rest of the game. Wendel was forced to play the rest of the game as the only point guard, while Karlie Niekamp helped bring the ball up to alleviate pressure.

Along with the live-ball turnovers created by full court pressure and half court traps, Minster (15-5, 6-2 MAC) took advantage in the halfcourt by forcing travels out of the Fort Recovery freshmen.

“The thing that makes this team good, is not maybe the ball pressure itself,” said Minster coach Mike Wiss, who’s team finished 11th in the Division IV poll. “It’s how we rotate from the backside that gets us some of those scoring opportunities. Tonight we rotated pretty well and I was pleased.”

The Wildcats opened the game on an 11-0 run over the first 5 minutes. Lilly Barhorst, who recently returned from an injury, scored the first six points, the first four by sitting on the weak side block and getting a pass and the last on a quick dropstep.

“Lilly’s a little bit of an inspiration to us right now for the fact that she hasn’t played all year,” Wiss said. “She’s coming off of an injury. Having a body like that inside that finished (is big). We don’t always finish real well and the first part of the game we did.”

Barhorst finished with 12 points on a perfect 6-for-6 from the field.

The Indians didn’t score until Wendel pulled a quick shot with her foot on the line with 2:43 left in the quarter. Niekamp scored the next basket in transition before Minster hit two more shots to finish the period with a 15-4 lead.

Going down early played into allowing Minster to speed the Indians up according to Deitsch, as his team wanted to climb out of the deficit.

“Getting dug into a bit of a hole, they have the momentum on their side and they’ll just turn up the pressure on defense because they have more of a chance to gamble and push us faster than they did in the beginning,” Deitsch said. “For us that creates a sense of urgency to get points up now instead of taking the long, steady approach to just keep climbing.”

Both teams struggled with turnovers in the third quarter as each gave up the rock seven times.

Despite the troubles in the third, Fort Recovery’s offense started scoring more in the second half, netting nine points in each quarter. Its defense couldn’t calm the Wildcats enough as they put up 11 in the final two periods.

Joining Barhorst in double digits was Anna Larger with 11. Larger had similar success inside the paint, only missing 1-of-6 shots inside the arc.

Wendel led Fort Recovery with seven points while Cameron Muhlenkamp followed with six.

Freshman Bridget Homan provided a nice lift in limited minutes after playing three quarters of the junior varsity game. She scored five points in the fourth on a quick basket assisted by Wendel and 3-of-7 shooting at the free-throw line.

“Bridget Homan did a really good job tonight,” Deitsch said. “Whenever she was called upon … she was able to give us a spark offensively, being able to get into the paint and get some shots. Being able to get herself to the free-throw line is always a positive.”


Junior varsity

The Wildcats blanked Fort Recovery in the second half until Homan scored with less than a minute left as Minster defeated the Indians 40-15.

Jenna Belcher drained three triples in the first half as Minster developed a 25-13 lead.

The Wildcats only managed nine points in the third quarter, but held Fort Recovery (4-15) scoreless to extend the lead to 21.

Homan finally hit the only shot for the Indians late in the final period to score the final points of her team-high eight.

Belcher led Minster with 11.


Minster Wildcats vs. Fort Recovery Indians

Girls varsity summary

Fort Recovery (7-13, 2-6 MAC)
FG-FGAFT-FTAPTS
Niekamp1-50-02
Guggenbiller2-20-04
Wendel3-100-07
Leuthold2-50-04
Mhlnkmp3-60-06
Homan1-23-75
Huelskamp1-50-02
Willmann0-00-00
Totals13-353-730
.371.429
Def. rebound percentage: .458

Minster (15-5, 6-2 MAC)
FG-FGAFT-FTAPTS
Schmiesing2-30-05
Hemmelgarn1-41-23
Stammen1-30-02
Wilges0-00-00
Inskeep2-61-25
Mescher1-51-23
Belcher0-10-00
Barhorst6-60-012
Niemeyer2-30-05
Wuebker1-40-03
Larger5-81-211
Lamm0-01-21
Albers0-00-00
Totals21-435-1050
.488.500
Def. rebound percentage: .583
Score by quarters:
Ft. Rec.4899—30
Minster15131111—50

3-point shooting: Fort Recovery 1-10 (Wendel 1-6, Homan 0-1, Huelskamp 0-3). Minster 3-14 (Schmiesing 1-2, Niemeyer 1-2, Wuebker 1-4, Hemmelgarn 0-1, Stammen 0-1, Mescher 0-1, Belcher 0-1, Larger 0-2).

Rebounds: Fort Recovery 21 (team 6, Huelskamp 4, Guggenbiller 3, Muhlenkamp 3, Leuthold 2, Homan 2, Niekamp). Minster 27 (Hemmelgarn 5, Larger 5, Stammen 4, Inskeep 3, Mescher 3, Barhorst 3, Lamm 2, team 2).

Assists: Fort Recovery 4 (Wendel 2, Muhlenkamp, Huelskamp). Minster 12 (Hemmelgarn 2, Stammen 2, Mescher 2, Barhorst 2, Schmiesing, Inskeep, Niemeyer, Larger).

Blocks: Fort Recovery 1 (Wendel). Minster 2 (Inskeep, Lamm).

Personal fouls: Fort Recovery 13 (Niekamp 4, Guggenbiller 3, Wendel 3, Leuthold 3). Minster 14 (Niemeyer 4, Mescher 3, Hemmelgarn 2, Schmiesing, Stammen, Inskeep, Barhorst, Lamm).

Turnovers: Fort Recovery 22. Minster 16.


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