March 3, 2012
Evansville Mater Dei Works Overtime for First Girls Basketball Title
Evansville Mater Dei, in winning the Class 2A girls basketball state championship, added another accomplishment to its growing list of first-time achievements.
The No. 1-ranked Wildcats won their first regional title in 2012. Then came their first semi-state crown. And they wrapped up a remarkable season with a 56-52 overtime victory over No. 2-rated Fort Wayne Bishop Luers for the state championship.
In a closely contested game with 15 ties and lead changes, Mater Dei pulled out the triumph with three points from Tori Schickel early in overtime and four from sophomore Maura Muensterman in the final second.
Muensterman's 12-foot jumper pushed Mater Dei ahead 54-52. She added two free throws after Luers was hit with a technical foul for calling a timeout it didn't have.
In the final seconds of regulation time, with the score tied at 49-all, Schickel blocked a shot by Luers' Brooke Ridley in the lane, extending the game.
Coach Steve Goans' Mater Dei team finished 27-1 and won its last 20 games. Three Wildcats scored in double digits. Sophomore Ashlynn Spahn, who was averaging 3.1 points coming in, led the team with 15. Muensterman scored 14 and Schickel had 11. Schickel also collected 11 rebounds.
Coach Denny Renier's Luers team finished 21-6. The Knights, who lead Indiana in girls basketball state titles (six) and championship game appearances (nine), were the defending Class 2A champs after a 2011 victory over Brownstown Central.
Miracle Woods led the Knights with 17 points and nine rebounds. Allison Butler had 13 points.
Evansville Mater Dei Coach Steve Goans
“Our girls never gave up and never quit fighting. Fort Wayne Luers took away a lot of things with their defense but a lot of our girls came up big. Ashlynn Spahn had a huge game in her three-point shooting, Tori Schickel came back in after foul troubles, and Maura Muensterman all year long has hit the big shot. It was amazing winning state. It is a tremendous feeling. It is a dream come true.”
“In the third quarter, we thought we might pull away. But Luers is a great team and they kept fighting back. They didn’t get here by not being one of the best teams in the state.”
“Overtime was pretty nerve-wracking. It went back and forth. We played for the last second shot. Maura came up huge and hit that little 10-footer.”
“Luers get a lot of points off of offensive rebounds. That didn’t surprise us. Miracle Woods is an outstanding player.”
Evansville Mater Dei’s Maura Muensterman
On scoring game-winning shot
“It was originally supposed to be a three-point shot or a drive to the baseline. I turned around and went middle. In my head, I was kind of, ‘Oh, no’ – but it ended all right.”
Ashlynn Spahn on making five three-point field goals
“I never have made five three’s in a game. The last couple of weeks, I’ve stayed after practice, and it’s paid off in the games that have counted.”
Fort Wayne Bishop Luers Coach Denny Renier
“We were behind most of the game. Our kids wouldn’t quit. We finally got it tied and a lead even and had the ball with a chance to win and just didn’t quite get it done. That’s just the way it is.”
“I just can’t say enough about the seniors on this team and what they’ve meant. For three straight years, we’ve gotten here. We’ve lost two games in overtime – those haven’t been very good. What it tells me is that these kids for three years were a fine basketball team. We could have ended up 3-0 but we lost two overtime games.”
“It’s a game and we lost. No one’s fault. We did the best we could. We just came up a little bit short. They (Mater Dei) are a good basketball team and their star beat us. We held her down pretty well but she made a great shot at the end to win it.”
On the seniors
“There’s no words to really describe. When I took over, these kids were sophomores. And they’ve pretty much just put me on their backs and carried me to three of these things, I feel. More than anything, they’re great kids. We don’t have any problems with them. They are wonderful kids. They’ve had great careers. There aren’t many kids that can say they’ve been here three times in a row.”