Gezus Oliver put the Hilltoppers
on top 7-4 with his three at the
Then it was Aylesworth with the nice
spin around jumper for two and the
home team was looking good in the
Junior Gezus Oliver
sails through the lane in Monday night’s
tournament action. Oliver led the
Hilltoppers with 17 points.
Oliver nailed another three in the
quarter and just like that Mount
Pulaski was up 12-6. Oliver would
miss a three at the buzzer but
better luck next time.
The second quarter scoring was
opened by freshman Brandon
Kretzinger, who managed to connect
for a three at the 6:45 mark. The
5’8 freshman learned just before
game time he would be in the
starting lineup, replacing Junior
It looks as if Huff may have a
fracture behind his kneecap.
Hilltoppers fans can only hope Huff
recovers in due time and is back on
the court, but in the meantime
Kretzinger did an outstanding job
stepping up, playing great defense
and scoring 11 points in his first
game playing varsity basketball.
Oliver has also stepped up his game
this season and this young man had
back surgery earlier this summer.
Oliver hustled all night long and
between him and Kretzinger they
combined to score 11 of the
Hilltoppers 13 second quarter
The icing on the cake was Oliver’s
three at the halftime buzzer that
gave the Hilltoppers a 25-23 lead
going into the locker room.
Aylesworth went on a tear in the
third quarter for Mount Pulaski,
scoring 8 points while showing off
some nice spin moves. Along with a
couple third quarter baskets from
Oliver, Kretzinger and Senior Eli
Griesheim, Mount Pulaski looked
pretty comfortable in this one.
The Hilltoppers lead was 43-36 at
the end of the quarter.
Oliver’s layup quickly in the fourth
quarter extended the lead to 45-36.
Looking back that would be the only
basket from the field the
Hilltoppers managed to score the
rest of the game.
As the Tornadoes came barreling back
in the fourth quarter, Mount Pulaski
would have to rely on points from
the free throw line. There’s work to
be done there yet as Mount Pulaski’s
10 of 22 shooting from the line in
the fourth quarter may have secured
the victory on this night, but it
may not accomplish the goal every
On the other side, Tri-City was more
than fired up in the fourth quarter
and the lead flamethrower was 6’1
Senior Steven Price, who poured in
11 points in the quarter without
missing a free throw.
top of second column]
Price's three with 19.0 seconds
on the clock brought a roar out of
the Tri-City crowd and put a scare
into the Mount Pulaski fans. The
trey by Price made the score 54-52
at that point.
But Price was not finished yet.
Mount Pulaski fans broke out in a
sweat when Price banked one in with
9.2 seconds remaining in the game.
The score was now 55-54, but the
Hilltoppers had a chance to add to
the lead after Eli Olson was
intentionally fouled. Olson missed
the free throws but with the
intentional foul Mount Pulaski ended
up with the ball and luckily time
ran out for the Tornadoes.
Mount Pulaski hung on for the
55-54 win, despite Price scoring 26
points to lead all scorers.
Mount Pulaski put three players
in double figures on the night.
Oliver led the way with 17 points,
Aylesworth contributed 13 points and
Kretzinger chipped in a very
respectably 11 points in his varsity
Mount Pulaski Head Coach Ryan
Deibert spoke after the game and
said, “I thought we were going to do
everything we could to give that one
away. It’s just a matter of we’ve
got to be stronger with the ball.
We’ve got a lot of unproven players.
People who have had a little bit of
experience but who haven’t proven
they can do their job at a high
level. Ball handling is going to be
a big thing.”
Deibert continued, "With our point
guard (Huff) going down, we’ve got a
freshman (Kretzinger) stepping up
and we’ve got players around him
stepping up, but we’ve got to prove
we can handle the ball without him
in the lineup.”
Speaking of the freshman, Deibert
said, "Overall he did a pretty good
job. He hit some key shots for us
and overall took care of the ball.
It’s his first game he’s ever played
in high school, so you've got to
keep that in mind and realize he
should only get better.”
The Bill Rucks Tournament resumes
tonight at 5 p.m. but Mount Pulaski
has the night off. The Hilltoppers
will play tomorrow night at 8 p.m.
versus Central A & M.
Mount Pulaski scoring