Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Butler's return home is triumphant; overtime win over Glenn Hills puts Bulldogs two games ahead of the region pack

Deandre Barton and Butler sprinted to a 2 game lead over the class AA region 4 pack Tuesday. 

Butler made the most of the first region game in its own gym, defeating rival Glenn Hills 67-60 in overtime to improve to 7-1 in league play. With the win, Butler's grip on the first place spot in the class AA, region 4 standings tightens because Glenn Hills, Josey, Laney, and Westside, the teams directly behind Butler, now all have three losses. All 6 six of the Bulldogs remaining region games will be at home, beginning Friday with Josey, the only team to beat Butler so far in league play.

Keith Littles's 17 points led four Bulldogs who scored in double figures. Littles made a three pointer with 6:23 remaining in the game to give Butler its largest lead (47-42) of the second half to that point. Then after teammate Will Lambert made a free throw with 3.6 seconds remaining to tie the game at 56 and force overtime, Littles made two field goals to cap a 6-0 Butler run to start the extra period that put the Bulldogs ahead for good.

The game couldn't have been closer as neither team led by more than 6 points during the second half despite 4 distinct spurts, each of which seemed to swing the momentum in favor of the team on the roll.

Timmy Sellers was dominant in the paint again in Tuesday's loss to Butler.

Glenn Hills took a 31-25 lead minutes into the third quarter when 6'8" junior center Timmy Sellers, who led his team with 12 points, capped a 7-0 Spartan run with a two-handed tip dunk in transition. Butler responded with a 22-11 sprint of its own, which was accented by a striding two-handed slam by Deandre Barton that gave the Bulldogs their first lead (38-37) of the second half with a minute left in the third quarter.

Butler's Keith Littles led all scorers with 17 points.

After Littles's three gave Butler a 47-42 lead, the Spartans responded with a 13-6 dash that included a nifty play by Sellers who weaved through traffic with with impressive ball handling skills before giving it up to CJ Bowers, who quickly gave it back to Sellers for a two handed dunk that shook the gym and cut Butler's lead to 1 at 47-46.

The final run was Butler's. Christian Robinson made a jumper with 12 seconds remaining to tie the game at 55. After Lambert made the free throw to force overtime and Drez McBride and Littles began the extra period with a combined six straight points, Glenn Hills would have no answer.

Barton scored 14 points and McBride and Robinson added 10 each for Butler.

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