Toppers season comes to an end in regional final

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[February 28, 2015]  MOUNT PULASKI - Springfield Lutheran dominated Mount Pulaski 57-25 Friday night to win the regional championship.

While this was not the way the Toppers would have liked to end their season, at least they lost to the team that has been ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the season.

The Crusaders managed to shut down Beau Collier, who only had one point, in the loss. In fact, LuHi pretty much shut down the entire team as the Toppers only managed 25 points, a season low. Seniors Matt Amidon and Michael Lowery led the Toppers with seven points each, while junior Brett Huff had five points. Pierson Wofford led LuHi with 23 points.

Perhaps the only bright spot on the night was the Toppers first quarter. Blake Collier managed two layups around a sea of LuHi defenders and Brett Huff hit a jumper just before the first quarter buzzer and the Toppers only trailed 11-7.

The second quarter turned ugly quick for Mount Pulaski. A series of turnovers by the Toppers led to the Crusaders going on a 13-0 run and the hole was just beginning to be dug, 24-7. Lowery finally made a three for the Toppers at the 3:15 mark and the deficit was still 24-10. The Crusaders took a 27-13 lead into the locker room at the half.

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It took the Crusaders just a couple minutes in the third to extend the lead to 33-13. Pierson Wofford continued to dominate, scoring eight of his points in the third quarter and there was no doubt at the end of the third, with a 44-20 lead, Wofford and his team were on a mission. Meanwhile, the Toppers just could not get any shots to fall and with the phenomenal defense the Crusaders were playing, the Toppers were showing signs of wearing down.

LuHi spent the fourth quarter running time off the clock, but still managed to outscore the Toppers 13-5 and by the time the final buzzer sounded the Toppers were just relieved this one was over.

The Toppers end their season at 17-12.

LuHi's 29-1 season continues next Wednesday at 7:00 at the sectional tournament in Lewistown.

[Teena Lowery]

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