- Associated Press - Saturday, March 15, 2014

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Mooseheart’s frontcourt and length has bothered opponents all season. It was never more evident than in the IHSA Class 1A state championship game on Saturday.

The Red Ramblers beat Heyworth, 63-47, behind Mangisto Deng’s 27 points and Makur Puou’s 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks.

“We knew it would not be easy,” Puou said. “I just try to do the best I can at all times. They had good players, played good defense. I just tried to do that too.”

Heyworth finished just 17 of 73 from the field and most of the misses were a direct result of Mooseheart’s length.

“It might look like you have an open shot, but a 6‘10, 7-foot kid can close that gap very quickly,” Heyworth coach Tom Eller said. “We had to go to an inside-out game and kick the ball out just to get open looks at the basket.”

The Hornets trailed 21-7 at the end of one quarter but scored 29 points off of 19 Mooseheart turnovers to pull within six at halftime, 33-27. Adam Wickenhauser hit two 3-pointers in 60-second span as Heyworth stayed away from the Mooseheart bigs in the paint and started knocking down outside looks.

Early in the third quarter, the Red Ramblers (29-3) lead was no more when Kaleb Marr’s 3-pointer gave the Hornets (26-8) the lead at 34-33. Heyworth just couldn’t hold on.

“You make a run like that and it takes a lot out of the kids,” Eller said. “Full court pressure and we got in a little foul trouble. … It’s tough to get up and down the court like that and keep the intensity that you need.”

Hameed Odunewu chipped in 11 points for the Red Ramblers.

Wickenhauser led Heyworth with 13 points. Kaleb Marr, who put the Hornets ahead 34-33 with a 3-pointer, and Justin Witten added seven points each.