VANDALIA — Over this past weekend, the Lady Aviators Basketball team kicked off their season. The Aviators are following up their best season since 2012 and looked to continue that form in their opening games. On Friday night Butler hosted Tippecanoe Red Devils in a big rivalry game, falling 62-39. The following night, the Aviators defeated Miami East 53-44.
“Our win against Miami East was just what the doctor ordered, it’s always a relief to get that first win,” said Butler Coach Molly Bardonaro. “The night before against Tipp was 32 minutes of fast paced basketball. The girls tried their hardest, but they just wore down. I think being able to come back on Saturday and get our first win of the season, will carry over to the next few difficult games we have: Tecumseh, Northmont, and Centerville.
Saturday’s game started off well for the Aviators, pushing the ball up the court and playing physical on the defensive end against Maimi East. Six different Aviators scored in the first quarter, including senior Abby Grooms who added a basket and converted the foul shot for the Aviators. Miami East kept the ball game close in the first quarter, relying on outside shooting and an up tempo offense as the Aviators led 11-6 after the opening quarter.
The second quarter was much of the same for both teams, displaying intense physicality on both ends of the floor, a back and forth battle between teams. The Vikings outscored the Aviators in the quarter by a point, 15-14. Brittney Petrosky paced Buitler in the second quarter with two baskets from the floor and two free throws as the locals took a 25-21 lead into intermission.
Butler outscored Miami East in the third quarter, 11-10 to give the locals a 36-31 advantage. Three different Aviators scored in the third, including Junior Olivia Schoenherr, who added two points in the quarter and totaled nine for the game. Morgan Haney added four points in the quarter for Miami East and finished the game with 17 total points.
The Aviators finished strong in the final quarter, wearing down the Vikings and cruising to the 53-44 win. Shelby Moses had a big quarter for the Aviators with 10 points, including a three-point basket, a two point basket, and was five of six from the foul line. Butler outscored the Vikings 17-13 in the quarter, and grabbed their first win of the season, 53-44.
Leading scorers for the Aviators on Saturday were Shelby Moses with 19, Brittney Petrosky with 14, and Olivia Schoenherr with 9. Moses hit six of 16 attempts from the field including a 5-8 performance at the free throw line. Grooms contributed five points while Clark and Tyree Fletcher each had three. Bardonaro said that compared to the Tipp City game, against Miami East the scoring was “much more balanced out which is what I like to see.” She said Grooms “came up big again for us on the boards with 8” and Schoenherr “added an impressive 7 rebounds.”
Bardonaro was asked what she took away from Friday’s loss to Tipp City.
“We hung in there with Tipp City until mid-third quarter when Abby Grooms had to come out due to foul trouble,” she said. “We realized how crucial she is in the paint, especially defensively and on the boards. However, the girls fought hard until they ran out of gas mid-fourth quarter. We don’t have a deep bench to go to, so we are learning our roles and as the coach I am learning an effective sub rotation to make sure every girl is as rested as possible. We made a few adjustments defensively after the Tipp game and came back stronger on Saturday night. We will continue to learn our strengths and game plan around those.”
Butler will be back in action on Tuesday as they travel to Tecumseh. The next home game for the Aviators will be Dec. 5 against Fairborn.
Editor’s note: Greg Smart also contributed to this story.
Reach Gannon Godsey by contacting Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com