Despite an 80-75 loss on Saturday to Seward County, the Butler Community College men won the Jayhawk West Conference basketball title outright, thanks to Cloud County's 74-60 victory over Hutchinson on Saturday night.
Butler finished 13-3 in Jayhawk West play, 25-5 overall. Hutchinson finished a game behind at 12-4 in conference play.
It's Butler first conference title since 2001, when the Grizzlies posted an identical 13-3 record and also lost the final game of the season at Seward.
Both teams struggled offensively in the early going. The Grizzlies led 4-0 three minutes into the game but then went nearly five minutes without scoring a field goal. Seward didnt build a significant lead until late in the first half but led 34-26 at the break.
In the second half, Butler took a 47-46 lead on three-pointers by Dushawn Brooks with 12:43 to play. Butler led by as many as nine at 66-57 with 7:40 to go, but Seward mounted a comeback of its own, going ahead by a point with 2:44 to play at 72-71.
Seward seemed to seal the win with two minutes to play when Brooks was called for a foul and a technical foul on the same play. Seward made three of four free throws to go ahead 75-72 and held off the Grizzlies over the final two minutes.
Butler was led by Caleb Walker's 23 points, while Josh Gibbs had 13, Anthony Cousin added 12 and Dushawn Brooks scored 11 points. Gibbs led the Grizzlies with seven rebounds. Latiq Agard and Robert Sigala had 21 points apiece to lead Seward.
The Grizzlies begin the Region VI playoffs with a home game on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The opponent will either be Labette or Fort Scott. Those two teams finished tied and the seeding will be determined today.
BUTLER (25-5): Pierce 5, Gibbs 13, Cousin 12, Morgan 3, Walker 23, Hilyard 1, Sloan 7, Brooks 11. Totals 26-64 17-26 27.
SEWARD (22-8): James 9, Tassin 7, Agard 21, McCarter 10, Sigala 21, Thaw 2, Nolen 10. Totals 27-53 20-29 80.
Halftime—Seward 34-26. 3-point shooting—Butler 6-25 (Brooks 2-4, Sloan 1-4, Walker 1-3, Morgan 1-3, Cousin 1-7, Gibbs 0-1, Hilyard 0-3), Seward 6-10 (Sigala 5-5, McCarter 1-3, Tassin 0-1, Nolen 0-1). Rebounds—Butler 38 (Gibbs 7), Seward 37 (Nolen 8). Total fouls—Butler 27, Seward 22. Fouled out—Butler, Ingram.