Warriors Fall In Subdistrict Final to Bridgeport
Secure District Final Game Against Mead
March 2, 2023
Mike Motz, Sidney Sun-Telegraph
Leyton's Warrior boys Basketball team ended their fine regular season with a 20-and-2 record, securing them the No. 1 seed in the D1-12 Subdistrict Tournament. They met up for the second time this season with Hemingford, a team they had beaten by 13 points back in December, in the first round of the tournament on February 21. After a close first period that had Leyton leading 16-to-14, the Warriors exploded on offense, pounding out 29 points in the period while Hemingford struggled for only seven points. With a 45-to-21 lead at the half, Leyton came out in the third period to rack up 25 more points in the period and put an exclamation point on a dominating 78-to-35 thrashing of the Wildcats. Four Warriors hit double digits, with senior Dillon Juelfs with 21 points, senior Cort Rummel with 20 points, junior Jonathan Kruse with 15 points and senior Justin Ernest with 14 points in the victory.
This set up the finals match against Bridgeport on February 23, a much better team than their 15-10 record indicated. Although Leyton had the home court, Bridgeport had brought along a large and loud cheering section, practically drowning out the Leyton cheers at times during the contest. The teams battled ferociously the entire game, with Bridgeport opening a lead and hanging on to it for the entire first half. Leyton went on an 8-to-0 run at the end of the third quarter to grab their first lead of the game. The Warriors held a 40-to-36 advantage going into the the fourth quarter, which was a battle the whole way, with the score tied three times and five different lead changes through the final eight minutes. After Bridgeport freshman Nik Weibert stole the ball and went coast-to-coast and converted a layup, the Bulldogs held a one point lead. But Leyton senior Dillon Juelfs put in a two and hit a free throw with about 40 seconds reming to give Leyton a two point edge. Bridgeport freshman Gage Nein then sank two free throws to knot the score at 55-to-55, and in the final seconds, Leyton tried a long three pointer that missed the mark, sending the game into overtime.
Leyton's Cort Rummel got the first points of the overtime period for the Warriors, but Bridgeport then connected on a three-point attempt to take a one point lead. Bridgeport hit another three pointer, then after Leyton's Justin Ernest scored to bring Leyton to within two points, Bridgeport again connected with a bucket. The Bulldogs then drained four free throws to seal the victory for the Bulldogs, 67-to-62. Bridgeport's Kolby Lussetto led all scorers with 28 points, while Juelfs led the Warriors with 16 points in the loss.
Leyton qualified for a District Final with their strong regular season performance, and was slated to match up against Tuesday against Mead in Lexington. The Raiders come in the District Finals with a 17-and-8 record. Full details of the District Final game will be in next week's Sun-Telegraph.