Mount Pulaski falls to Porta 56-45 in the Bill Rucks Tournament

Send a link to a friend  Share

[November 26, 2016]  Mount Pulaski knew they would have their hands full in this one Friday night. Max Muller, a 6’5 senior for the Blue Jays, has been a scoring machine year after year on the Hilltoppers and he just keeps getting better. Once he caught fire Friday night, he dropped 25 points on the Hilltoppers, leading his team to a 56-45 victory. At least he’s a senior and Mount Pulaski won’t have to worry about facing him anymore as the two teams no longer play each other in the regular season.

But wait, there’s another Muller in the scorebook. Little 6’5 brother, Mason, is a freshman and even appears to be a little taller than his older brother.

Add in sophomore Tyler Minor, who scored 12 points Friday night and Porta looks to be pretty solid for the next several years.

Mount Pulaski’s 6’8 junior Peyton Taylor gave the Muller boys and Minor a run for their money though as he poured in 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Six-foot senior Lukas Aylesworth managed to dodge the big boys in the lane and score 12 points for Mount Pulaski in the losing effort.

Even though Mount Pulaski suffered the loss, the Hilltoppers played another solid first half. Coming back from an early 8-3 deficit, the Hilltoppers turned things around and managed an 11-10 first quarter lead on a basket by Taylor.

Ben Rathgeb’s three with 25.6 seconds on the clock turned the tide in Porta’s favor, 13-11, and the first quarter scoring was in the books.

The Blue Jays jumped out to a 17-14 second quarter lead but at the 4:52 mark senior Eli Griesheim nailed a three to tie the game. Max Muller poured in Porta’s next four points to put the Blue Jays up 21-17 and then it was Mount Pulaski coming back to tied the score again on Aylesworth’s bank shot in the lane.

Mount Pulaski even had a couple opportunities to take the lead but failed to capitalize so Max and company took advantage of the moment. Max Muller’s back to back threes closed out the second quarter scoring and Porta’s lead was 30-23.

Mount Pulaski failed to make up any ground in the third quarter and still trailed 43-36 going into the final eight minutes of play.

The closest Mount Pulaski would get in the fourth quarter would be 48-43 after Brandon Kretzinger knocked down a three at the 3:40 mark. 

[to top of second column]

Gezus Oliver attempts a shot over Max Muller in Friday night’s game of the Bill Rucks Tournament.  The Mt. Pulaski Hilltoppers fell to the Porta Blue Jays 56-45.

Again Mount Pulaski had a couple missed opportunities to get right back in this one and the experienced Blue Jays capitalized again. Max Muller hit a long three with 2:54 remaining and the Blue Jay crowd roared with the lead now 51-43.

In the last two minutes of the ballgame, it appeared that Mount Pulaski had more turnovers than points. Porta also shot 15 of 18 from the free throw line, while not a difference maker, but Mount Pulaski was only 8 of 15 from the line.

Throw in a couple late game steals and Porta cruised quietly to a 56-45 win and punched their ticket to a championship matchup with Decatur LSA tonight at 8 p.m.

Mount Pulaski will get the chance to play today at 5 p.m. vs. Edinburg.

The other two games feature Tri-City taking on Calvary at 3:30 p.m. and Central A & M plays Illini Central at 6:30 p.m.

Mount Pulaski scoring

Aylesworth 12
Taylor 10
Kretzinger 9
Griesheim 8
Oliver 6

Porta scoring

Max Muller 25
Minor 12
Nicholas 7
Toyne 4
Rathgeb 3
Leigh 3
Mason Muller 2

[Teena Lowery]

Back to top