VANDALIA — Butler coach Molly Bardonaro was hoping to get one more game of rest for point guard Brittney Petrosky versus Piqua. The senior was recovering from an ankle sprain and, while technically cleared to play, hoped to sit one more game.
Unfortunately, the Lady Indians pressure caused problems for the Aviators early in the third quarter when they cut a 12-point deficit to five. Sensing trouble, Bardonaro inserted Petrosky into the lineup with instant effect as the Lady Aviators pulled away for a 39-22 lead.
“I wasn’t going to play her,” said Bardonaro. “I thought we’d have a bigger margin going into the fourth quarter and Olivia (Schoenherr) was on the bench with two charges in the first half. Nothing was going well for us offensively. I wasn’t going to play her unless it was absolutely necessary and it was. She went in there and did what she needed to do. She provided the spark, she goes in, we get up, and its done. That’s pretty impressive that somebody can have that effect.”
After a basket by Willow Knight pushed the Aviators to a 23-13 lead, Piqua called time with 5:12 to play in the third quarter. Another basket by Zoie Franklin pushed the lead to 25-13, but a 7-0 run over the next four minutes closed the gap to 25-20.
That was enough for Bardonaro who brought in Petrosky to steady her Aviators against the Piqua pressure. Petrosky’s presence was felt immediately with a steal and layup that forced the Indians to call time.
Petrosky scored again followed by an old-fashioned three point play by Franklin and a three pointer by Knight to complete a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach.
Tyree Fletcher led all scorers in the game with 10 points while adding 13 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Abbie Schoenherr added eight points while Knight and Franklin had six each.
“Abbie stepped up for us with eight points in the first half and Tyree got some big boards for us and seven points in the first half,” said Bardonaro. “Every game Zoie is getting better and better. She plays inside defense better than anyone on our team, she’s rebounding, and getting more confidence in her shot.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.