VANDALIA — Butler coach Darren Wyrick asked for a good, solid team effort, and that’s what his Aviators needed, in Friday’s Jan. 27 home win over visiting Beavercreek.
The Aves traded baskets with the Battlin’ Beavers in the early going, nabbed a six-point lead at halftime, pulled away to a double-digit lead in the second half, then held on for an eventual 47-41 win in Greater Western Ohio Conference boys high school basketball play.
“We came out and played hard, we played physical, and we played very disciplined,” said Butler coach Darren Wyrick. “Those were our keys to the game, and our guys executed. They were terrific tonight. They did exactly as we planned. It was perfect execution and that’s what we needed, because (Beavercreek) is a very disciplined bunch, and they played hard. We did a nice job with that.
“Obviously, our go-to guys did their usual jobs, but like I told the guys in the locker room, this was a total team effort.”
Miles Joiner led Butler (8-8, 3-7 GWOC American North) with a game-high 16 points, Michael Kreill tossed in nine points, and Bryant Johnson was next with eight.
The Beavers (7-9, 4-4 GWOC National East) got the deficit down to four points when Kenneth Jordan Williams drained a 3-pointer from the left corner. That made the score 45-41 in the Aves’ favor with 33.9 seconds left to play, but Kreill converted the front end of both of his trips to the free throw line in the closing seconds to seal the win.
Beavercreek coach Mark Hess emphasized his team’s effort — and sometimes lack of it — after the game.
“What we talked about after the game was how we have to play hard from the start,” Hess said. “We came out and our mental focus wasn’t there. We were just trading buckets offensively, and it didn’t seem like our mental focus was there. We didn’t seem locked in with what it was we wanted to do. And then we’re missing shots around the rim, and that’s mental focus as well.”
Cedric Young led Beavercreek with an 11-point effort. No other Beavers player scored more than six.
Beavercreek plays at Springfield, while Butler will host Piqua, on Tuesday, Jan. 31 for their next games.
“We won at their place earlier in the season, and they’re another team that really kinda grinds it out with you. It’s going to be a physical game, and we’ve got to get ready for that in the next two days,” Wyrick said. “We’ll need another solid effort to get that win as well.”
You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.