Pulaski takes the Tomahawk from
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[January 07, 2017]
Tomahawk Trophy keeps on traveling.
The Hartsburg-Emden Stags just took
the trophy away from the Athens
Warriors Tuesday night, and now the
Mount Pulaski Hilltopper have it in
their possession with Friday night’s
47-42 win over the Stags.
The trophy was up for grabs all
night long as the two teams battled
back and forth with several lead
changes throughout the game. After a
first quarter riddled with several
turnovers on both sides the
Hilltoppers held a 9-8 lead and the
large crowd at Hartsburg was
settling in for an exciting night of
Early in the second quarter as Brody
Baker hit his first three of the
game to tie the score at 11-11, the
orange and black crowd erupted.
Baker was fired up running back down
the court and this would just be the
beginning of igniting the Stags to a
17 point quarter.
Brady Wolpert’s first and only three
of the game would follow shortly
after and give the Stags a 14-13
lead as now everyone in the orange
and black crowd was fired up. A
steal by Baker and a layup to follow
extended the Stags lead to 16-13
over Mount Pulaski.
The Stags had definitely hit a
groove at this point. A Baker alley-oop
pass into 6’5 senior Alec Hayes, who
finished it off in sweet fashion for
two points, would be the icing on
the cake for the Stags during this
But with the Stags lead 18-14, Mount
Pulaski got hot and that Stags lead
melted away. Baskets by Gezus Oliver
and Peyton Taylor gave Mount Pulaski
the 19-18 lead and it was the purple
and gold crowd’s turn to cheer.
After over a minute of misses from
both sides and a fight for the ball
that saw multiple players scrambling
on the floor, Hartem ended up with
the ball and the lead back. Hayes
fired a pass into Alex Vetter, who
tossed it in from inside the paint
for the 20-19 lead.
The teams kept the pace going back
and forth with Brandon Kretzinger
connecting for a three to give the
lead back to MP, then it was Hayes
for HE with his own three, and just
case you’ve lost track, the score is
23-22 Hartem with the quarter
A steal by Vetter and his quick
layup to the basket would close out
the first half and Hartem would hold
a 25-22 lead over Mount Pulaski.
The Stags would hold the lead in the
third quarter until around the 4:00
minute mark when Taylor would score
in the paint for Mount Pulaski and
the lead was 29-28 Hilltoppers.
That was short-lived as Baker hit a
three and from this point on with
every shot released from the Stags'
hands, the hometown crowd was on
their feet with their hands in the
The game would only get more intense
from this moment on. Mount Pulaski
tied the game 31-31 as Lukas
Aylesworth muscled his way thru the
lane for two. Then Antonio Coit-Kirk
answered back with two points.
As Baker sank a free throw the
Hartem lead was 34-31 with the third
quarter almost complete. To finish
things off, Oliver pulled down the
rebound after Kretzinger missed
three and as Oliver laid the ball in
thru the net, Mount Pulaski edged
closer, 34-33 the score to end the
third quarter action.
Eight more exciting minutes left and
it is anybody’s ballgame. Oliver
would get the lead back in Mount
Pulaski’s favor early to start the
fourth quarter, but then Hartem went
on a 6-0 run and just like that the
Stags were in command 40-35.
The tide turned quickly, however.
Mount Pulaski got a bucket from Eli
Griesheim, who had been pretty quiet
most of the night, and this would be
the beginning of Mount Pulaski’s run
at getting the Tomahawk Trophy.
After Hartem missed a couple shot
attempts and a couple free throws,
and Mount Pulaski missing their
share, too, Seth Huff connected for
what scorekeeper Greg Taylor called
the “shot of the game.” Huff’s three
at the 2:34 mark tied the game at
40-40 and the Mount Pulaski crowd
erupted. Huff’s mom, Jo, could be
spotted as the first one off her
bleacher seat and the rest of the
purple and gold crowd erupted as
The game would be tied at 42-42 a
couple seconds later, then Mount
Pulaski would pull away, thanks to
Oliver, who in fact scored the final
seven points of the game for the
As Mount Pulaski broke the Hartem
press easily, it was Oliver gliding
to the basket for a layup up and the
44-42 lead as 46.1 seconds remained.
Oliver would sink his free throw on
the play and the 45-42 lead was a
nice cushion this late in the game.
Of course, it was still anybody’s
game but as Coit-Kirk missed a shot
under the basket with 6’8 Taylor
hovering over him, the deck was
stacked in Mount Pulaski’s favor as
they regained possession with 18.7
seconds left in the game.
top of second column]
stops Antonio Coit-Kirk from scoring
late in the game
Pulaski defeated Hartem 47-42 and
claimed the Tomahawk Trophy.
As Hartem was forced to
foul, Taylor would miss a free throw
here, but Mount Pulaski would wind
up with the ball anyway. Hayes was
then forced to foul Oliver and the
junior was clutch in scoring both
free throws and he sealed the 47-42
victory right here.
Hartem was able to regain possession
one last time as the clocked showed
7.5 seconds, but Wolpert’s shot
missed and Mount Pulaski controlled
the ball in the final seconds and
time just ran out for the Stags.
Mount Pulaski was leaving town happy
with the Tomahawk Trophy in tow, a
47-42 victory and the Hilltoppers
also bumped their record up to 8-7
on the season.
Gezus Oliver led all scorers with 17
Peyton Taylor had 14 points for
Brody Baker led Hartem with 14
points and Alec Hayes chipped in 10
Mount Pulaski Head Coach Ryan
Deibert knew what his team had to do
Friday night to accomplish the win.
"We knew going into it we were going
to have to stay down and get the
shooters and get the first rebound.
Our game plan was to contest shots
and pull the rebound.” Deibert noted
the Stags had six threes in the
first half and he knew his team had
to shut down that offensive threat
from the outside. "The fourth
quarter came around when it was
tight and we took away the three
from them. It was as simple as
getting there, staying down, moving
and contesting and taking away the
three. When we did that it ended up
in our favor.”
Mount Pulaski also won the Junior
Varsity contest 37-24.
Jon Shehorn led Mount Pulaski with
18 points. Nate Dyer poured in 8
points for the Hilltoppers.
Mount Pulaski will defend the
Tomahawk Trophy Friday night when
the Hilltoppers host Midwest
Mount Pulaski Varsity scoring
Hartem Varsity scoring
Mount Pulaski JV scoring
Hartem JV scoring
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