VANDALIA — Friday night’s boys basketball game between the visiting Piqua Indians and the Butler Aviators wasn’t your typical affair. A fire alarm prompted game officials to clear the SAC and end the junior varsity game with over 6 minutes remaining while fire officials made sure the building was safe.
No fire was found, but if it had, the Butler Aviators could have provided the water after the Aviators hit 12 rainmakers from beyond the arc to spark a 72-49 win over the Indians.
Braedon Norman, who set a career high in points for the second time this season, connected on six of the three-pointers to lead all scorers with 22 points.
The win lifts the Aviators to 15-2 overall and 9-2 and in a first place tie with Sidney in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North division.
“It was a weird start – I’ve never been part of a game with the fire alarm going off before, the band wasn’t in there, the music was kind of down,” said Butler head coach DJ Wyrick. “Our initial start was good but then we just got comfortable. The positive is they took care of business. The goal was to be who we are, take care of business, and continue to get better.”
Perhaps the loudest cheer of the night came when the fire alarm, complete with a loud buzzer and flashing lights, was finally shut off. The beginning of the game was delayed by about 7 minutes, and someone may have forgot to tell the Indians.
Butler came out and Norman hit a three that prompted Piqua to call time just 1:13 into the game. Two more Norman threes and a basket by Michael Kreill later and Butler led 11-2.
Piqua started heating up and rattled off a 10-0 run to claim a 12-11 lead. The lead exchanged hands twice more as the Aviators got a three from Tyler Montegue. Norman had one more in him and drained a three at the buzzer that gave Butler a 17-14 lead – one they would never surrender.
Ryan Wertz joined the long-distance party in the second quarter with a pair of threes. Butler build their lead to as much as nine points in the quarter, but settled for a 34-27 lead at half.
The Aviators won the third quarter as they have so often this season and despite not throwing a haymaker, it was clear the Indians’ chance at an upset were over. Norman and Wertz both connected from beyond the arc, and along with baskets by Kreill and Bryant Johnson, the Aviators led by as many as 15. Cooper Justice his a three-pointer to close the quarter.
Butler steadily pulled away in the final quarter which was capped off by a three-pointer by Nick Lobianco to set the final score.
Five different players scored from beyond the arc as the Aviators shot 12-of-28 from three, something Wyrick hopes bodes well for the future.
“We might have been able to attack the rim more tonight, but I like that we hit some threes because there may come a game in the tournament where we have to hit 12 or 13 threes to win it,” he said. “This was a game where we started knocking them down. We need that because I think teams are going to start packing it in on us and force us to hit them. We are capable of making them.”
Wertz was the only other Aviator in double figures with 13. Johnson had a fantastic all-around game with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals. Quentin Glover had 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.