VANDALIA – On Monday the Lady Aviators basketball team hosted Bellbrook in their first game of 2016. The Aviators came into the game off a loss to Sidney and looked to get back to winning ways. Bellbrook looked to continue their winning ways following an upset victory over Beavercreek last week.
The Aviators hung tough with the Lady Eagles and led at the half, but Bellbrook fought back in the second half and took the lead with under a minute to play. The Aviators turned the ball over late and fell to Bellbrook 38-34.
The Aviators opened the game strong, matching the physical play of the Eagles, and creating opportunities to score. Butler had five different players score in the opening quarter, as they took a 10-7 lead. Brittney Petrosky opened the game with a fast break basket to open the game before settling into a defensive battle with the Eagles.
The second quarter was a defensive display from both teams. With 14 combined points scored, neither team distinguished themselves or grabbed a large lead. Both teams played excellent defense that was physically intense. Senior Riley Clark led the way for the Aviators by adding a big basket to extend the Aviators lead before half to extend Butler’s lead to 18-13.
The second half was much of the same for both teams. Bellbrook continued to try and wear down the Aviators and chipped away at the Butler lead. The Aviators continued to step up and hit key baskets to keep the momentum going. The Aviators were outscored 11-7 in the third quarter and held a slim 25-24 lead heading into the decisive period. Senior Shelby Moses kept the Aviators ahead after a three point and two point basket from the floor.
In the final quarter, the Eagles continued to ride their momentum and draw within reach of the Aviators. The teams traded baskets in the final quarter.
Trailing by two points with 1:15 seconds remaining on the clock, junior Olivia Schoenherr hit a three point basket to put the Aviators back on top. Bellbrook fired right back with a three of their own to take a two point lead with less than a minute remaining. After a Butler turnover on the offensive end, the Aviators were forced to foul.
Bellbrook knocked down both free throws to stretch their lead to two possessions. Butler would eventually fall to the Eagles by a final score of 38-34.
Leading scorers for the Aviators were Shelby Moses with 11 followed by Olivia Schoenherr with eight and Abby Grooms with seven.
The junior varsity team also fell to Bellbrook 35-11.
The Lady Aviators will be back in action on Wednesday as they travel to Greenville for a GWOC North divisional showdown. Tip time for that game is 6 p.m. for junior varsity, followed by varsity at 7:30.
Butler will host the Troy Trojans on Saturday. Tip time for that game will be 11:30 am for JV followed by varsity at 1 p.m.
Gannon Godsey is a student at Butler High School. He can be reached by calling 684-8983.