GREENVILLE — Butler’s trip to Greenville on Friday night had all the markings of a trap game. The Aviators were coming off a dramatic win over Wayne while the homestanding Green Wave were struggling mightily.
Any notion of an upset were quickly squashed, though, as Butler handled business by jumping to a 23-5 lead after one quarter and pulling away for a 75-22 win.
“We probably had our best practice of the year yesterday,” said Butler head coach DJ Wyrick. “We split into two senior teams because we have 10, a junior, and a sophomore team and they just got after each other. After a practice like that you usually have a pretty good game and we did.”
The Aviators remained unbeaten on the year at 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference (GWOC) North division while Greenville fell to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in league play.
Friday’s contest was never in doubt as the Aviators played 15 players – 13 of whom scored. Ryan Wertz led the offensive attack with 17 points followed by Michael Kreill with 16. Butler’s defense took away 26 steals while the offense shot 55% from the field in a dominating performance.
“It was nice to see those other guys get some time,” Wyrick said. “They work just as hard as anyone in practice so its hard balancing that. The tone was set early to get up in them and we thought we could eat them up with some pressure because their point guard is out.”
Butler jumped to an 8-2 lead on baskets by Wertz, Braedon Norman and Bryant Johnson which prompted a Greenville timeout with 6:54 to play in the first period. Butler’s onslaught continued and a frustration technical foul put the Aviators up 15-5 halfway through the first quarter. The Aviators responded with an 8-0 run to end the quarter up 23-5.
Despite a three-pointer early in the second quarter, the Wave couldn’t stop the Aviator offense which outscored Greenville 21-7 in the second period to build a 44-22 lead at intermission.
The Aviators opened the third period on a 10-0 run with five different players scoring to squelch any attempt by the Wave to come back.
The Aviators will return to action on Tuesday as they travel for a rivalry game against That Team Across the Dam (Northmont) before hosting Troy in a key GWOC North showdown on Friday.
“We need to have two good days of practice,” said Wyrick. “It was nice to have 15 guys get playing time so we should be well rested. Those guys have earned that playing time as much as anyone else.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.