Mount Pulaski's Eli Olson tries to grab the ball away from Riverton's Vince Lanier Friday night. The Toppers had a battle on their hands all evening. The Hawks finally pulled away with a big lead midway through the second half, winning by a final score of 53-34.


Mount Pulaski falls to Riverton in Friday night basketball action 53-34

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[January 30, 2016]  Mount Pulaski's entered battle at Riverton on Friday night. Mount Pulaski had not played since last Friday night and the time off was not beneficial for the team.

The Toppers started the game a little rusty and unfortunately just could not catch any break in this one. It did not help that as a team the Toppers shot a dismal 17 percent from the three-point range.

The only lead the Toppers could muster in this one was 2-0 to start on a bucket by Peyton Taylor.

After that opening basket, Riverton's Anthony Frank nailed a three to put the home team in the lead for good. Frank would go on to lead all scorers with 18 points.

Mount Pulaski did manage to pull within 7-6 early but back to back baskets by Lanier stretched the lead to 11-6. Taylor scored off the offensive rebound with :34 seconds left in the first quarter to make the score 11-8 but then it was a nice lob into Lanier as time was expiring and he gently laid it in for a 13-8 Riverton lead at the end of one quarter of play.

The second quarter began with Riverton's Ryan Roscetti dodging traffic thru the lane and getting the bucket to fall, 15-8 the lead now. A minute later Jordan Fisher knocked down a three for Riverton and the Hawks held a ten point lead over the Toppers, 18-8 the score.

Meanwhile the Toppers struggled shooting from the field until Caleb Przykopanski came in off the bench and immediately launched a three that was good, cutting the Riverton lead to 22-14. That was the lone bright spot for Mount Pulaski in the second quarter, and as noted earlier the Toppers could not catch a break in this one. Even what looked like a clean block by Taylor turned out to be a foul. Nonetheless the boys hung in there and they only trailed 24-15 at the half.

The third quarter saw the Toppers break out of the slump for a spell as Lukas Aylesworth got a couple baskets to fall and then Brett Huff finally broke his dry spell and hit a trey to pull Mount Pulaski to within six points, 28-22. Then it was Aylesworth's turn again to bank one in and close the gap some more, 28-24 the score with 5:15 left to play in the third quarter.

Here is where the tide turned though and it was quick and rather rough. It all started with the alley-oop to Frank. That started a scoring run that included baskets by Roscetti and Zak Merchant as well. Then it was Josh Gabriel scoring to give Riverton a 36-25 lead.

Brett Huff finally connected from the field around the 3:00 mark and the Hawks lead was 38-27.

Following a basket by Taylor to make the score 40-29, the big man for the Toppers had to take a seat on the bench with his fourth foul as the clock showed 1:07 in the third quarter. Taylor came back in just before the end of the quarter, long enough to get elbowed and knocked to the ground as Frank made his way to the basket and scored to make it 43-29 at the buzzer.

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Riverton just padded the lead in the fourth quarter and the Toppers could only get one basket from the field to go along with three free throws. A dismal five-point performance by the Toppers in that final quarter and a ten-point quarter by the Hawks was the grand finale as the Toppers dropped this one, 53-34.

Taylor led the Toppers with 10 points and 8 rebounds.

Mount Pulaski falls to 10-10 on the season.

The Mount Pulaski Junior Varsity also fell to Riverton by a score of 46-42. Eli Griesheim led the JV with 25 points.

Mount Pulaski plays at home next Tuesday versus Tri-City. The Toppers last home game will be Friday night versus Springfield Lutheran.

Toppers varsity scoring

Taylor 10
Aylesworth 9
Brett Huff 7
Przykopanski 4
Litterly 2
Brandon Huff 1
Griesheim 1

Riverton varsity scoring

Frank 18
Roscetti 12
Lanier 6
Fisher 5
Merchant 4
Gabriel 3
Ramsey 2
Merry 2
Shoup 1

[Teena Lowery]

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