POSEN-The Posen boys needed a lift-me-up in the midst of an up-and-down season and Martin Mulka gave the Vikings a lift on their homecoming night.
Mulka hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Posen a 52-49 win over Fairview on Friday.
"Martin had a great game and this was good for him because he's coming off a tough last game and this should give him a good confidence boost," Posen coach Steve Hentkowski said.
Mulka scored a season-high 17 points in the game.
The first quarter established the pattern of the game: lots of fast paced scoring streaks by both teams. Fairview jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead off Kasson Willobee and Hudson Szubelak field goals.
Posen answered back frequently but struggled against a tough Fairview defense. Three minutes into the quarter, Fairview led 8-2.
Posen's Nick Hincka then hit two field goals and two free throws while Mulka hit the first of two threes to help the quarter end with a bare-knuckle 14-13 Fairview lead.
Twenty seconds into the second period, Hincka hit a jumper to help Posen take a 15-14 lead. It was the first of three lead changes in the quarter
Posen's defense then went into overdrive, pushed on by Brandon Dietz, Travis Sharpe and Mulka. The Vikings led 23-16 with two minutes left in the half, before several baskets including a triple from Austin Handrich narrowed Posen's halftime lead to 24-22
The Vikings got off to a fast start in the third quarter and scored the period's first seven points.
Fairview's answered back with a Handrich three while Willobee hit two field goals and a three. The quarter ended with a one-point Posen lead, 35-34.
The Eagles took charge in the fourth quarter with Willobee hitting a three to give the Eagles a 37-35 lead while Dustin Smith added a trey of his own.
Eventually Posen trailed 42-35 and seemed to rush at this point, missing a lot of baskets, getting the ball out of bounds and making procedural errors that put the ball back in the Eagles' hands too often.
Sharpe and Litwinski stepped up their games, hitting a three apiece to narrow Fairview's lead to 44-41. Hincka hit a shot 30 seconds later while Dietz hit another to snatch back the lead, 45-44 with just over three minutes to play.
The game then became a shoot out with the lead changing three times in a minute.
Mulka hit two free throws with three minutes left to retake the lead for Posen and added a basket shortly after to give Posen a 49-48 lead before Willobee knotted the game with a free throw.
Mulka stepped up to the free throw line with 26.7 seconds left with a chance to take the lead. However, he missed both shots.
Posen got the ball back with 10 seconds left. Dietz passed to Mulka with two seconds left and he threw up a shot just before the buzzer went off, giving Posen the win with a three-pointer.
"Our fourth quarter shooting was the best it's been all year. We were 55 percent tonight which we haven't had all year. The boys played great and we got lucky at that last-shot but Martin came through in a big way," Hentkowski said.
Fairview head coach Rick Ebert wasn't pointing fingers or throwing down blame for the loss.
"We stayed right in the game all the way and although we had some sloppy moments, I think we kept the pressure up. In the end, it was just one of those things that happened, it wasn't anybody's fault," Ebert said.
Posen is now 5-7 overall and 3-6 in the North Star League. Fairview is 4-7 overall and 4-5 in the North Star.
Fairview's JV beat Posen 30-27. Top scorers for Posen were Matt Wisniewski with 27 and Chase Lewandowski with 9 points and 17 rebounds. Tommy Jenkins for Fairview hit 8.
Posen (52): M. Mulka 6-3-6-17: T. Sharpe 2-0-2-5: L. Litwinski 3-0-1-3: N. Hincka 7-5-9-19: B. Dietz 3-0-1-6: J. Zaborney 1-0-0-2.
Fairview (49): K. Willobee 8-3-6-21: D. Smith 1-0-0-3: H. Szubelak 4-0-1-8: D. Haskin 1-0-0-2: A. Handrich 3-0-0-8: L. Yoder 2-3-6-7.