VANDALIA — It’s either feast or famine for the Butler Lady Aviators over the past four games. When the offense is clicking, defense is lacking. When the defense is playing well, points are hard to come by.
That’s not a winning formula, and explains much of why the Lady Aviators have lost three of four contests heading into Wednesday’s game with Oakwood.
Butler’s defense played well against Tippecanoe last Wednesday but the Aviators couldn’t buy a basket at times in a 41-28 loss that left them 5-4 overall and 2-3 in the GWOC North.
“Willow (Knight) and Olivia (Schoenherr_ had 25 of our 28 points, and you can’t win a game like that,” said Butler head coach Molly Bardonaro. “Right now we are scoring points and not playing defense or we are playing defense and not scoring points. We have to put two parts together.”
The Aviators held Tipp scoring leader Allison Mader to just four points using a box-and-one defense but Cali Steward hit a trio of three pointers to lead all scorers with 16 points.
“Defensively we did what we asked them to do,” Bardonaro said. “We held Mader to four points, and we said we were going to shut down Mader and make someone else beat us. Stewart was hitting tonight.”
Butler had an opening early as they held the Lady Red Devils scoreless for nearly four minutes. The Aviators could only muster three points themselves, however, and missed a golden opportunity to gain a larger advantage.
Tipp called time with 2:36 left in the first quarter trailing 5-4 and went on a 10-2 run to close the period fueled largely by a pair of three pointers by Stewart.
Butler closed to within four at 16-12 midway through the second period but trailed 24-17 at the half.
Tipp opened the third quarter on a 5-0 run to claim a 29-17 lead and Butler never got closer than nine the rest of the game.
Adding injury to insult was point guard Brittney Petrosky going down with another injury to her ankle. Petrosky missed games earlier this season with an injury to the same ankle. Her return is open ended.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.