VANDALIA — After a rocky start the Butler Lady Aviators came into Wednesday’s game versus Troy riding a three game winning streak and looking to stay unbeaten in league play.
After a slow start, the Aviators heated up from outside fueled by 5 three-pointers by Willow Knight as they pulled away in the second hald for a 48-26 win over the Lady Trojans.
The win moved Butler to 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North division. Troy fell to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in GWOC North play.
Butler hit 8 threes on the night, and it was apparent early that the Aviators were dialed in. Knight opened the scoring with a three and then Abbie Schoenherr added another before Knight hit her second of the game to give Butler a 9-5 lead after one quarter.
Threes by Jacie Dalton and Knight in the second period gave the Aviators a 17-13 halftime lead.
Butler’s defense took over in the third quarter as the Aviators outscored Troy 21-7. Schoenherr and Knight connected from three and Tyree Fletcher scored seven points in a row as the Aviators put the game out of reach.
“Our defense has gotten better every game,” said Butler coach Molly Bardonaro. “Our defense looked pretty good in the first half but we couldn’t rebound. We got out-rebounded so we couldn’t get out and run which is what we wanted to do. Tyree had a big second half on the boards and got a couple of nice kick outs. We knew rebounding was going to be key because they (Troy) fights hard on the boards. We finally showed that in the second half and that was a big key for us.”
Knight hit her last three in the final period and had a game-high 17 points. Schoenherr had 12 points, Fletcher 8 and Dalton 7 in a balanced attack.
We are getting really balanced scoring now from four girls,” said Bardonaro. “If we could get a fifth that would be good. Maddie’s (Mitchell) defense was incredible, she’s getting on the floor and fighting, and she directs traffic.
“The girls believe in our system, they believe in each other, they are sticking together. They are figuring out their roles and they are looking for the right person at the right time. It’s going to be fun to see what they can do.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.