VANDALIA — Things couldn’t have started much worse for the Lady Aviators when they hosted Trotwood on Wednesday. With five turnovers and just two points in the game’s first four minutes, Butler felt fortunate to be down just three.
The Lady Aviators battled back however, and when Brittney Petrosky hit a runner with six seconds left to give the Aviators a 29-28 lead it looked as if Butler had gained the upper hand against the Rams.
Unfortunately, six seconds is an eternity in basketball and the Lady Rams used every tick of the clock before Taj Thompson launched a three-pointer at the buzzer that hit nothing but net to clinch a 31-29 thriller at the Butler Student Activities Center.
The win gave Trotwood the upper hand in claiming second place in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North division behind undefeated and league-leading Sidney.
“We had 16 turnovers offensively, we didn’t look to shoot, we didn’t look to attack the basket, and we kept messing around and waited for someone else to do it,” said a frustrated head coach Molly Bardonaro. “Defensively we hold them to 28 points until the last second three, so I think 28 points – we give up we did our job defensively.”
The Aviators were hampered early by turnovers and the extended absence of senior center Abby Grooms who lost a contact lens early in the first period. Despite the early setbacks, Butler battled back to claim a 9-8 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to a pair of baskets by Keonni Rakestraw.
Trotwood bounced back in the second period an took the lead but, thankfully, Grooms returned to score all five of Butler’s points in the period.
Butler was hampered by an apparent ankle injury to senior Riley Clark who left the game and did not return. Bardonaro said losing Clark was a factor in the game.
That shows how much we miss Riley,” she said. “She doesn’t put up huge numbers, but her presence and leadership out there and her intensity when she plays it was obvious the team looks for that and it did hurt.”
Grooms asserted herself early in the third quarter as well and hit four straight foul shots as butler went on an 8-0 run to claim a 22-17 lead. Trotwood scored the last four points of the quarter, though, and trailed by one heading into the final period.
A three-pointer by Shelby Moses with 6:38 to play put Butler up 25-23, but Trotwood answered quickly with five straight points to take the lead at 28-25.
Petrosky got the Aviators within one with a basket at the 3:05 mark and then the Lady Rams decided to take the air out and run clock.
The Aviators got a couple of breaks as Trotwood missed the front end of a one-and-one twice in the games final 40 seconds which set up Petrosky’s shot with six seconds left. Unfortunately the Aviators couldn’t prevent the late-game heroics by Thompson.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.