Mount Pulaski boys sweep Lincolnwood Saturday night at home

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[January 23, 2017]   It was a busy day for basketball at the Ed Butkovich Gymnasium Saturday in Mount Pulaski. Following the girls win over Maroa-Forsyth the boys took to the court in the evening and swept the Lincolnwood Lancers in both contests.

For the Junior Varsity game it was Mount Pulaski winning 39-29 as Jonathan Shehorn led the way with 18 points.

In the Varsity contest the Hilltoppers took down the Lancers 57-45 thanks to a career high 25 points from Gezus Oliver.

A great crowd was on hand for this game, as it was rescheduled from that weekend in December when the ice storm hit.

Much nicer, warmer weather brought out the crowd. And the Hilltoppers were anything but cold to start this one, jumping out to an early 11-2 lead.

The Lancers were struggling to buy a bucket but did catch a break when Seth Foster banked in a long three at the first quarter buzzer. Mount Pulaskiís lead was 11-5 at the end of one quarter of play.

Foster got even hotter for the Lancers in the second quarter and he ran off ten points in the eight minutes of play to keep his team in it.

Oliver paced the Hilltoppers with nine points in the quarter, including a tough three point shot he got off just seconds before the halftime buzzer. As Oliver soared above the defenders the shot glided through the net and the junior gave Mount Pulaski a 24-19 lead going into the locker room.

Oliver continued hitting threes in the third quarter and at one point his outstanding offensive effort had Mount Pulaski up 29-21.

Foster was just as hot as this January day had been for the Lancers, and his offensive display closed the gap to a 31-28 Mount Pulaski lead with 3:25 left to play in the third quarter.

Both teams went scoreless for the next three plus minutes and after several misses on both ends, Oliver hit a three with eight seconds showing.

Before the crowd even had a chance to quit clapping for Oliver, Brandon Kretzinger stole the ball from the Lancers and he quickly turned around and tossed up his own three. His first and only points of the game hit the backboard and banked in nicely, going right through the net.

The crowd roared even more as the buzzer blew to sound the end of the third quarter and the home teamís lead was back up to 37-28.

Leads can always disappear quickly in high school basketball and the Lancers sure made a good run in the fourth quarter. They ran off eight straight points on Mount Pulaski and just like that the Hilltoppers coach, Ryan Deibert, was calling one timeout after another to try to settle his team down.

With Lincolnwood back in the game, trailing a slim 37-36, Mount Pulaskiís Lukas Aylesworth decided to take matters into his own hands. The senior drove to the basket successfully on two consecutive possessions and allowed the Hilltoppers to maintain a 41-38 lead with 4:28 left to play in the game.

That guy who had been relatively quiet for the Lancers in the fourth quarter, Foster, then sank two free throws, and again Mount Pulaski called a timeout while holding onto a 41-40 lead.

Thanks to Aylesworth sinking his free throws the Hilltoppers could maintain a lead, 43-40.

Following a nice spin around jump shot by Peyton Taylor, Mount Pulaski was up 45-41 and then quite simply, Oliver took over the game.

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Mount Pulaskiís Gezus Oliver sinks his free throws at the end of the game Saturday night. Oliver scored a career high 25 points and led the Hilltoppers to a 57-45 win over Lincolnwood.

Oliver scored ten points in the final two minutes of play and secured the 57-45 win for Mount Pulaski.

Oliver's 25 points in the game is a career high as a Hilltopper. Taylor tossed in 14 points in the win, and Aylesworth contributed 13 points.

Mount Pulaskiís record is now 11-8 on the season.

The Hilltoppers host Riverton this Friday night.

A special note: The evening also included a ceremony to honor the 1936 and 1976 state basketball teams. More on that coming in Tuesdayís edition of Lincoln Daily News.

Mount Pulaski JV scoring

Shehorn 18
Murphy 8
Dyer 5
Hinds 3
Trimmer 2
Rule 2
Farris 1

Lincolnwood JV scoring

Goebel 9
Pitchford 8
Herman 6
Hopper 3
Krager 2

Mount Pulaski Varsity scoring

Oliver 25
Taylor 14
Aylesworth 13
Kretzinger 3
Griesheim 2

Lincolnwood Varsity scoring

Foster 25
Bormida 9
Poggenpohl 6
Millburg 3
Snyder 2

[Teena Lowery]

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