TROTWOOD — The Butler Aviators knew that to upset the state-ranked Trotwood-Madison Rams, they would need to slow the high-flying Ram offense. They did just that – in the final three quarters.
Unfortunately for the Aviators, Trotwood turned 13 first quarter turnovers into a 34-11 lead that Butler never recovered from in a 94-76 win. The Aviators fell to 10-2 overall and 6-2 in league play while Trotwood-Madison improved to 9-1 overall and 6-0 in GWOC South play.
The Aviators led briefly – Braedon Norman hit one of his 4 three-pointers to open the scoring, but Trotwood’s pressure defense quickly made its mark as the Rams rattled off 10 straight points for a 10-3 lead. A layup by Tyler Montague briefly stopped the run by the Rams, but turnovers plagued the Aviators and Trotwood took advantage to build a 34-11 lead after one quarter.
From there the Aviators outscored the Rams 65-60, but the damage was done.
“We won the last three quarters of the game, but we aren’t a team that deserves any moral victories,” said Butler head coach DJ Wyrick. “We are beyond that as a team and as a program. Early on, I don’t think it was as much them as it was the atmosphere here. That JV ending was intense, and it was fired up, it was a tournament atmosphere. We were there for three out out four quarters. The problem is it can’t be like that in the first quarter.”
Butler has gotten off to several slow starts this season, a problem that vexes Wyrick.
“You can’t be in that big of a hole in the first quarter,” he said. “To be hones with you, I can’t answer why (the slow starts happen). We have tried different lineups. We finally started attacking once we broke the press instead of allowing them to reset their defense.”
After the devastating first period, the Aviators mounted somewhat of a comeback in the second frame. A pair of three pointers by Norman ignited an 11-2 run that prompted a Trotwood timeout with 4:02 to play, but even that run closed the gap to just 43-24, a mountain that was too much to overcome.
Norman scored 19 points to lead the Aviator attack with Bryant Johnson adding 16, Michael Kreill with 12, Ryan Wertz with 11, and Montague with 9. Trotwood’s Amari Davis led all scorers with 31 and Carl Blanton added 19 in a balanced attack by the Rams.
The Aviators will travel to Tecumseh on Tuesday evening before returning to the SAC to host West Carrollton on Friday.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.