VANDALIA — On Friday the Butler Aviators basketball team hosted Greenville in a pivotal division showdown. Friday’s game was the first home contest after a three game road stretch. The Aviators looked to route the Green Wave, and get their second win of the season. Greenville came into the game undefeated, looking to continue their winning ways against the Aviators. Both teams battled tough, with many lead changes in the game and while Butler hung tough with the Green Wave, but fell in gut-wrenching fashion, 51-47.
The Aviators opened fast while slowing down the fast and physical Wave and finding scoring opportunities of their own. The lead changed often in the opening half, with neither team pulling away. The Aviators outscored Greenville in the first half 23-22. The Aviators distributing the ball well in the first half, with seven different players scoring on the offensive end. Butler was led by senior Zach Ledbetter and Junior Aaron Fields who had five and four points respectively.
The Aviators slipped in the second half, with Greenville tying the game in the opening minutes. The Wave went on a 13-2 run to take a double digit lead in the third quarter. Greenville would outscore the Aviators 17-8 in the third quarter, leading the Aviators at the end of three periods 39-31.
The Aviators fought back in the final quarter, cutting the Greenville lead to only three with one minute to play. A costly turnover and foul would send the Wave to the foul line with just 30 seconds remaining. After hitting one of two from the charity strike, Greenville had stretched their lead to two possessions, all but ending the Aviators chances.
Despite a late charge by Butler, Greenville would overcome a halftime deficit to defeat the Aviators 51-47. This loss moved the Aviators to fifth place in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North division with a record of 0-2 while dropping Butler to 1-5 overall.
Leading scorers for the Aviators were Zach Ledbetter with 11, followed by Brian Jenkins with 10 and Aaron Fields with eight.
The Aviators will be back in action on Tuesday as they host Tecumseh. Tip time for that game will be 6 p.m. for JV, with Varsity to follow at 7:30.
Gannon Godsey is a senior at Butler High School. Reach him at 937-684-8983.