Pulaski turns back Mercer boys’ upset bid

Published 5:00 am Sunday, March 5, 2023


Contributing Writer

STANFORD — Mercer County was on the verge of an upset for three quarters, but Pulaski wouldn’t let it happen.

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The Titans led for much of the first half and held on through most of the third quarter before Pulaski pulled away for a 65-48 victory in the boys 12th Region Tournament.

Mercer was outscored 24-9 over the final 9:07 at Lincoln County as it lost in the first round for the second consecutive year.

Mercer (14-18) couldn’t counter after Pulaski scored seven straight points to take a 48-39 lead in the first minute of the fourth quarter.

That was part of a larger 14-4 run that included three putback baskets by the Maroons, who opened a 55-43 lead with 4:12 to play.

The first quarter belonged to Mercer, which wiped out a 5-0 deficit with eight straight points and led 12-7 at the end of the period.

It was 18-13 in the second quarter before Pulaski got eight unanswered points from Barek Williams to regain the lead for good. The Titans were within 27-26 at halftime and 41-39 after Wade Lane’s 3-point basket with 1:35 left in the third quarter.

Trevor Ellis led Mercer with 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Thaddeus Mays added eight points.

The Titans shot 39 percent from the field but were just 3 for 11 in the fourth quarter.

Pulaski (25-6) went 17 for 29 in the second half to finish at 49 percent and outrebounded Mercer 33-29.

Carson Fraley scored 27 points and Williams had 21 for the Maroons.