TROY — On Friday the Vandalia Butler Boys Basketball team hosted Troy in their last home game of the season. Butler honored its seven seniors before Friday’s game. Seniors for the Aviators were Noah Ballard, Torin Fletcher, Cameron Glover, Joey Depoy, James Clark, Zach Ledbetter and Brian Jenkins. The Aviators got off to a good start, and grabbed an early lead. Butler would lead at halftime by a score of 23-18.
Troy fought back in the second half, as they tried to eliminate the five point deficit Butler had created. Troy narrow the margin, and grabbed a two point lead with 15 seconds remaining. After failing to convert on the offensive end, the Aviators fell to Troy by a score of 54-52
Butler started the game fast in the opening quarter, as they played inspired for this seasons seniors. Butler outscored Troy 16 to 4 in the first, as they grabbed an early double digit lead. Senior Torin Fletcher scored six points, including two three point baskets to begin the game. Butler rode their motivation throughout the quarter, and stunned the Trojans on both ends of the floor. With their success, The Aviators would lead by 12 as they headed into the second quarter.
Troy fought back in the second quarter. The Trojans outscored Butler by a score of 14-7, which narrowed the deficit Butler created in the first. Both teams continued to play tough on both ends of the floor, as they both eyed another victory. Senior Zach Ledbetter added five points in the second. Despite being outscored in the second, the Aviators still held a five point lead at halftime, by a score of 23-18.
Both teams found success in the second half, with neither team pulling away in the third. Troy narrowly edged the Aviators in the third, as they outscored Butler 15-13. Despite being outscored, Butler still had a three point lead at the end of the third. Senior Brian Jenkins scored four points in the third, including two baskets from the floor. The Aviators headed into the final quarter of play with a narrow three point lead, by a score of 36-33.
The battle continued in the final quarter, both teams fighting for a divisional victory. The final quarter was a high scoring period, with Troy outscoring Butler 21-16. Senior Noah Ballard added a big three point basket as they neared the end of the game. Troy grabbed a two point lead late in the ball game, leaving Butler with under 10 seconds remaining to tie it up. The Aviators were unable to convert on the last second shot, and fell to Troy by a score of 54-52. This loss moved the Aviators to 0-8 in the division and 4-14 overall.
Leading scorers for Fridays game were Ledbetter with 16, followed by Jenkins with 13 and Ballard with eight.
Gannon Godsey is a senior at Butler High School. He can be reached at 937-684-8983.