NEW CASTLE, Ind. -- Maura Muensterman had hoped her 40-point outburst in Friday morning's City Securities Hall of Fame Classic semifinal win over Logansport had somehow slipped under the radar of the Columbus North coaching staff.
Fat chance. Columbus North coach Pat McKee was plenty familiar with Muensterman, Evansville Mater Dei's 5-11 junior standout, even before Friday's tournament. The Bull Dogs were able to cool her off enough in a 63-55 win over Mater Dei in Friday night's championship game. "That (40-point game) had no bearing on what we did," McKee said. "We knew she's good and she proved it in that game, but we knew that already." Sophomore guard Ali Patberg was assigned to Muensterman most of the night, with juniors Tayler Goodall and Kelsey Cunningham also taking turns. Muensterman, who has scholarship offers from Butler, Drake and Evansville, finished with 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting. "You can't shut her down completely," Patberg said. "She's such a great player. We just tried to keep her in front of us and I think we did a pretty good job." Goodall, who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, drained five 3-pointers in the first half as Class 4A second-ranked Columbus North (14-0) pushed out to a 29-20 halftime lead. Goodall's effectiveness forced Mater Dei coach Steve Goans to try a box-and-one defense in the third quarter. That move played into Columbus North's hands as Patberg and Cunningham found openings in the defense. Cunningham hit two 3-pointers as the Bull Dogs extended their lead to 14 points in the third quarter; Patberg scored 11 of her 19 points in the second half. There were simply too many weapons for Class 2A top-ranked and defending state champion Mater Dei (12-1) to cover. "We tried a few different things," Goans said. "We're usually patented with the 3-2 and trapping in the corner, but they pass and drive the ball so well that we could never trap and they got open shots. Once the trap didn't work, we were scrambling a little bit. We were hoping to slow one of (Patberg or Goodall) down, but I'm not sure we did a real good job on either." Mater Dei pulled within four points three times in the fourth quarter, the final time with a minute remaining. Columbus North, last year's Class 4A runner-up, has just one senior on its roster. Friday's tournament championship is an experience Goodall said the team will use to its advantage in the coming months. "It's big for us," she said. "We definitely have to keep improving and there are things we need to work on, but it's something we can be proud of." Columbus North handled Class 4A top-ranked Hamilton Southeastern 53-30 in Friday's first semifinal. Goodall scored a game-high 19 points and Patberg added 14 as the Bull Dogs (13-0) were never seriously threatened in the second half. Columbus North neutralized Hamilton Southeastern star Taya Reimer, a Notre Dame recruit. The 6-3 Reimer finished with 10 points on 5-for-11 shooting and four rebounds. Hamilton Southeastern (11-2) lost its second game of the day 50-40 to Logansport in the consolation game. Reimer was limited to six points and three rebounds. Muensterman scored her 40 points in an 83-54 semifinal win over Class 4A fourth-ranked Logansport (12-1), setting a tournament record for a semifinal game.