State Colleges

Butler advances to Region VI semifinals

Butler avenged a regular-season loss Sunday night in the Region VI quarterfinals, giving the Grizzlies a shot at a team that beat them twice this season.

Butler forced 22 turnovers and converted 26 of 36 free throws to eliminate Cloud County, 69-61, atoning for a 78-73 loss earlier this season.

"That’s what our defensive philosophy is, to get them hurried and force turnovers," sophomore guard Travis House said.

The triumph earned the Grizzlies (19-13) a semifinal shot Wednesday against second-seeded Neosho County. The Panthers (27-5) used a furious rush in the final minute to edge Coffeyville, 72-71.

"It’ll be another game for redemption," House said. "We got Cloud (Sunday night)."

Sunday’s Butler victory came despite 32-percent shooting from the field in the first half. Even with that, the Grizzlies were able to force 11 Thunderbird turnovers and led 31-29 at the half.

"It was a muddy game, the first half was a great indication of that," interim head coach Bryan Miller said. "But credit our guys who just stayed with it in the second half.

"We had to do a better job of getting stops and letting our defense kind of trigger our offense to get the tempo up, and I thought we did that in the second half," Miller said. "In the first half, I think we let our lack of offense affect the pop we had on defense, but in the second half I think they did a good job of setting the tempo and pushing the defense."

In the second half, the Grizzlies went to the free-throw line 24 times, sinking 16, led by sophomores Caelan Neal (7 for 8 in the game) and Derrick Byrd (5 for 6 overall).

"That’s what we’ve been preaching: Get the ball in the paint, get the ball inside," Miller said. "They did a good job making that adjustment in the second half."

Neal and Byrd were among five Grizzlies in double figures and among eight players who scored.

Butler had to keep forcing turnovers, because the Thunderbirds sank 40 percent of their three-pointers (11 of 27). Freshman reserve Deon Lyle of Norton led the way, hitting 5 of 8 for 17 points. Devonte Dixon and Demonte Ojinnaka hit two each, helping keep Cloud (10-22) close.

Neal and redshirt freshman Daven Joseph each had 11 points and seven rebounds, and Byrd, Semaj Harvey and Damien Akao had 10 points each.

The balance is pretty much normal, said House, who hit three three-pointers for nine points.

"That’s how we want to play," he said. "We have a bunch of guys who can go off on any given night, so having that balance makes it hard for other teams to guard us."

Hutchinson 77, Garden City 71 — The top-seeded Blue Dragons (28-3) struggled in the second half, hitting just 37.5 percent of their shots after hitting 48 percent in the first half. Still Hutch managed to hold off the Broncbusters (18-14). Samajae Haynes-Jones led Hutch with 23 points, and Bashir Ahmed had 17. Aaron Ray and Josh Fleming led Garden City with 16 points each.

Neosho 72, Coffeyville 71 — Neosho rallied in the final minutes and took advantage of Coffeyville errors to advance. Marc Moon drove into the lane for an up-and-under layup with 51 seconds left that cut the Ravens’ lead to 71-70. On the ensuing inbounds play, the Coffeyville player stepped over the line as he passed, turning the ball over to the Panthers. Freddie McSwain laid in the inbounds pass for a 72-71 lead with 37 seconds to play. The Ravens rebounded a Neosho miss and called timeout with 2.5 seconds left. But Coffeyville was called for stepping on the end line with 0.6 seconds left, and Neosho managed to escape.

Cowley 79, Colby 67 — Despite shooting just 30 percent from the field, Cowley (16-16) managed to cruise to the victory, hitting 12 of 35 three-point attempts. The Tigers earned the right to face top-seeded Hutchinson in Wednesday’s semifinals. Baron Smith scored 20 points, including two three-pointers, and Pedro Da Silva had 17 points. Each had seven rebounds, as did Mason Loewen. Bilal Abdur-Rahim led Colby (19-13) with 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Ahmed Ismail also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. 

Hutchinson 77, Garden City 71

GARDEN CITY – Bennet 5, Fleming 16, Loy 9, A. Ray 16, Moore 4, Beard 7, Hallman 10, J. Ray 4.

HUTCHINSON – Hoffman 12, Ahmed 17, Haynes-Jones 23, Pinder 8, Juiston 9, Conley 2, Dennis 4, Emery 2.

Halftime – Hutchinson 36, Garden City 29. Three-pointers – Garden City 4-23 (A. Ray 1-2, Bennet 1-3, Beard 1-4, Fleming 1-6, Jones 0-1, J. Ray 0-3, Loy 0-4); Hutchinson 4-15 (Haynes-Jones 3-4, Hoffman 1-4, Dennis 0-1, Pinder 0-2, Ahmed 0-4). Rebounds – Hutchinson 39 (Pinder 11), Garden City 38 (Loy 9). Assists – Garden City 4 (A. Ray, Beard, J. Ray, Jones); Hutchinson 4 (Juiston 2). Fouls – Garden City 14, Hutchinson 24.

Cowley 79, Colby 67

COLBY – Obanya 9, Starr 9, Attia 2, Leydig 8, Abdur-Rahim 18, Cuthbertson 2, Ismail 12, Tubbs 2, Motley 5.

COWLEY – Loewen 2, B. Smith 20, Mills 4, Wright 13, Harness 5, Gandy 3, Fulton 7, Da Silva 17, Diakite 8 .

Halftime – Cowley 36, Colby 31. Three-pointers – Colby 3-17 (Leydig 2-7, Abdur-Rahim 1-1, C. Smith 0-1, Ismail 0-1, Cuthbertson 0-2, Starr 0-2, Obanya 0-3); Cowley 12-35 (Da Silva 5-8, Wright 3-4, B. Smith 2-7, Harness 1-5, Gandy 1-6, Mills 0-2, Loewen 0-3). Rebounds – Colby 44 (Abdur-Rahim 13), Cowley 35 (Loewen, B. Smith, Da Silva 7). Assists – Colby 11 (Starr 3), Cowley 15 (Loewen, B. Smith, Mills, Gandy 3). Fouls – Colby 21, Cowley 26. Fouled out – Loewen, Diakite, Abdur-Rahim.

Neosho 72, Coffeyville 71

COFFEYVILLE – Strong 17, Wolfe 9, Taylor 8, Spencer 22, Jefferson 2, Strickland 3, Barksdale 3, Reliford 2, Poleon 2, Ahmed 3.

NEOSHO – Thompson 3, Downing 5, Moon 21, McSwain 18, Granberry 14, Griggs 1, Jackson 7, Donart 3.

Halftime – Coffeyville 34, Neosho 32. Three-pointers – Coffeyville 7-22 (Spencer 5-10, Barksdale 1-2, Taylor 1-3, Strickland 0-1, Reliford 0-1, Poleon 0-1, Strong 0-4), Neosho 3-17 (Donart 1-2, Thompson 1-6, Jackson 1-7, Boone 0-1, McSwain 0-1). Rebounds – Coffeyville 38 (Wolfe 12), Neosho 35 (Granberry 9). Assists – Coffeyville 10 (Strong 6), Neosho 10 (Moon 4). Fouls – Coffeyville 21, Neosho 20. 

Butler 69, Cloud 61

CLOUD – Santos 7, Dixon 6, Ojinnaka 16, Patrick 4, Martin 2, Lyle 17, Sherman 1, Maduegbunam 3, Cornelious 5.

BUTLER – Neal 11, Byrd 10, House 9, Adler 6, Joseph 11, Harvey 10, Akao 10, Love 2 .

Halftime – Butler 31, Cloud 29. Three-pointers – Cloud 11-27 (Lyle 5-8, Ojinnaka 2-4, Dixon 2-8, Santos 1-2, Maduegbunam 1-3, Martin 0-1), Butler 7-24 (House 3-6, Harvey 26, Akao 1-1, Byrd 1-5, Chapman 0-1, Neall 0-2, Adler 0-3). Rebounds – Cloud 30 (Patrick, Maduegbunam 5), Butler 33 (Adler 9). Assists – Cloud 11 (Santos 4), Butler 10 (Harvey 3). Fouls – Cloud 24, Butler 21.

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