Mount Pulaski girls basketball season comes to an end
Heyworth takes the Regional Championship 53-32

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[February 11, 2017]   The Mount Pulaski Lady Hilltoppers season came to a close Friday night as Heyworth took the Class 1A Regional Championship at the Ed Butkovich Gymnasium. The Lady Hornets, the no. 1 seed in the regional, wasted no time Friday night making a statement they were out for the regional crown.

Heyworth jumped out to a 9-0 lead to start the game. Mount Pulaski never got on the board until 4:55 when Skylar Hayes managed to hit two free throws. Mount Pulaski would only be able to hit a couple more field goals in the first quarter, one by Hailey Moore and one by Morgan May, and find themselves in a 16-6 deficit at the first quarter buzzer.

Mount Pulaski’s second quarter would be relatively quiet with May being the only one to score the first six and a half minutes of action.

Meanwhile Heyworth just kept pouring in the points and built a 27-11 lead. Finally with 50.2 seconds remaining in the first half, Isabella Wade popped a three pointer for Mount Pulaski and the crowd came alive. Hayes would end the first half with a layup for Mount Pulaski.

The 29-16 lead held by the heavily-stacked junior-senior squad of Heyworth was not quite insurmountable for Coach Eric Leever’s team, which consisted primarily of freshmen and sophomores on the court, but Mount Pulaski would definitely have their hands full the second half.

Fikirte Mott drives towards the basket as Kaylee Wilham looks on during the contest versus Heyworth 

Heyworth was on a mission and it showed. Lady Hornets’ senior Somer Marlett, who led all scorers with 18 points, poured in three consecutive treys from the same corner in the third quarter and that was a dagger in the Lady Hilltoppers’ hearts.

Heyworth was just dominating Mount Pulaski, from the field and on the boards, and the score showed with the Lady Hornets up 49-25 at the end of the third quarter.

The bright spots of the fourth quarter for Mount Pulaski were few and far, but the fans did enjoy seeing Wade hit another three to start the final quarter.

Once the starters came out to much applause by the home team, Mount Pulaski’s bench managed to score a couple baskets in the final minutes and that, too, made the fans happy. Shelby Bailey and Zoey Lowe each managed baskets for Mount Pulaski down the stretch and that softened the blow a little.

The final as Heyworth takes the regional title was 53-32.

Advancing to the sectional three point contest from Mount Pulaski are Ashley Houser and Skylar Hayes.

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Coach Eric Leever talks to the Lady Hilltoppers following the team’s 53-32 regional championship loss to Heyworth 

Freshmen Olivia Cooper and Kaylee Wilham also shot in the competition, coming up just short of advancing.

The rest of the evening for Mount Pulaski included hugs and conversation with family and friends, while the Heyworth crowd enjoyed pictures with the plaque and the ceremonial cutting of the net.

Congratulations to Heyworth on the championship and thanks to Mount Pulaski for playing hard all season long.

Leever’s young squad compiled a 9-17 record on the season.

The team’s two leading scorers all season long were Skylar Hayes and Morgan May, both sophomores with a very bright future on the court. Hayes was held to just 7 points in her final game of the season but May, who hustled her heart out for 32 minutes, led the team with 12 points in the regional title game.

With several freshmen on this year’s roster who saw some Varsity playing time, Mount Pulaski can only look forward to improving next season.

Mount Pulaski 32

May 12
Hayes 7
Wade 6
Moore 2
Bailey 2
Lowe 2
Wakeman 1

The Class 1A Regional Champions - the Heyworth Lady Hornets

Heyworth 53

Marlett 18
Ryburn 8
Tomlin 7
Snow 7
Brown 6
Hays 4
Sims 3

[Teena Lowery]

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