Indy teams sweep games on the diamonds

Both Independence baseball and softball teams improved their records to 2-0 Tuesday night with home wins against Mallard Creek. 

The Patriot baseball team took a 10-0 lead early against the Mavericks.  Indy survived a couple of rallies and held on for a 11-8 win.  Head Coach Matthew Dykema was pleased with his team’s effort against a tough opponent.

“We knew we were up against a good hitting ball club.  We stayed together as a team.  This is a good team win for us.  Everybody played their role.  Just a big win for the program.  Very proud of the boys in a statement game.”

Indy will be back on the baseball diamond next Thursday at Vance.

The Patriot softball team defeated Mallard Creek 11-10.  Freshman pitcher Brittany Guidera closed out the game with a big save, shutting down the Maverick bats the last three innings. 

The softball team will also be back in action next Thursday at Vance.

Check out a feature on Independence softball in the March 10th issue of the Mint Hill Times.


Butler Basketball Sweeps Playoff Games

The Butler High School girls basketball team defeated Northwest Guilford 50-40 on Wednesday night in the second round of the North Carolina 4A state playoffs.  Cierra Burdick led all scorers with 26 points.  Mayhana Dunovant scored 11 for Butler, who now posts a 29-0 record for the season.  The Butler ladies will play Dudley (Greensboro) Friday night at Butler High School.  Dudley has a 25-1 record this season.

The Butler boys beat Parkland 90-62 in their playoff game on Wednesday.  Marcus Burton scored 29 points for the Bulldogs, who are now 25-3 on the season.  Junior Zach Ferguson scored 17, freshman Matthew Fisher-Davis hit for 12, and junior Jalen White scored 10 points for Butler.  The Bulldogs will host Mt. Tabor (Winston-Salem) in the third round of the North Carolina 4A playoffs on Friday.


High School Basketball Playoffs Update

The Independence Patriots girls’ basketball team lost 63-41 to Skyland Roberson of Asheville on Monday night.  The game marked the first round of the North Carolina 4A playoffs.

Independence’s season ends with a 7-17 record, four wins more than last year’s squad.

Butler’s girls defeated Western Guilford 68-42 on Monday, giving the team a 28-0 record this season and a 40-game winning streak dating back to last season.  The Bulldogs’ girls team will play Northwest Guilford on Wednesday in the second round of the 4A playoffs.  Game time is 6:00 at Butler High School.

The Butler boys defeated Dudley (Greensboro) 73-65 Monday night.  Jalen White led all scorers with 22 points.  Dudley’s Panthers held Butler to zero field goals in the third quarter while erasing a double-digit deficit.  With the game tied in the fourth quarter the Bulldogs relied on their speed and transition game to pull away for the win.  Butler’s record for the season is now 24-3.  The Bulldogs have won their last 17 games. 

Butler’s boys play Parkland (Winston-Salem) Wednesday night in the 4A playoffs’ second round.  Game time is 7:30 at Butler High School.


Butler Boys and Girls take SW4A Conference Titles

The Mint Hill Times

The Butler Lady Bulldogs won the 2011 SW4A Conference championship Friday night.

The Butler Bulldogs won both the boys’ and girls’ Southwestern 4A Conference Basketball Tournaments Friday night.

The girls defeated Myers Park 66-35.  Cierra Burdick led the Bulldogs with 27 points.  Junior Jaymee Fisher-Davis scored 17 and Senior Jadda Atkinson hit for 13.  Even with the impressive win Burdick feels the team needs to improve for the post-season.

“We need to get stronger with the ball.  We were bobbling the ball too much tonight.  We played well on defense, but we gave up too many three’s.  We’ve got to work on closing out possessions and watching the shooters better.”

The win makes the Butler girls’ record this season 27-0.  They also have a 39-game winning streak dating back to last season.

The Butler boys’ beat South Meck 77-53 on Friday to take their second straight conference title.  Senior Marcus Burton scored 27 points to lead all players.  Senior Anthony Stitt had 13 points and junior Zach Ferguson added 11.

South Meck started out with a strong, physical game and took a three-point lead into the second quarter.  The Bulldogs then used their quickness and full-court press to grab multiple steals which led to transition points.  Butler outscored the Sabres 43-22 in the middle two quarters to break the game open.

“When you have senior guards like we have, you’re able to execute the plays you want,” says Butler Head Coach Kurt Wessler.  “We made multiple defensive adjustments that turned the game.  Our guards accomplished what we wanted to do, closing the trap, creating turnovers, and dictating which opponents will shoot the ball.”

The Mint Hill Times

The Butler boys dominated SM in the second half.

Wessler was also impressed with the performance of his young bench players.

“It’s unbelieveable.  We were running ten guys tonight.  Game after game, third and fourth quarters, we have been able to put it on people.  That is a direct compliment to our bench.”

Both Butler’s girls’ and boys’ teams will begin the North Carolina state playoffs next week at home.


Boys’ Basketball Conference Tourney Update

The Mint Hill Times

Independence Coach Preston Davis chats with the referee.

The Independence Patriots boys’ basketball team lost 56-42 to South Meck in the first round of the Southwestern 4A Conference tournament Tuesday night.  The Patriots played a gritty game, taking a four-point lead into the fourth quarter.  But the Sabres’ size and quickness was too tough in the final period.

Brandon Davis led the Patriots with 13 points.  Ivan Blair added nine points and eight rebounds.  Independence’s season comes to an end with a 7-17 record.  Head Coach Preston Davis is pleased with his players’ performance against a tough opponent.

“Overall our effort was there.  Our execution started getting a little sloppy on offense.  We just have some little things here and there to work on.”

The game marks the end of the careers for seniors Brandon Davis, Ramon Bing, and Christian Truesdale.  Coach Davis knows these core leaders will be missed next season.

“Brandon has been a leader on and off the court.  He has a great attitude, he works hard, and he is a good student.  He’s the type of kid that we want to model the rest of our players after.  I think he’s done a great job in helping other guys develop the same habits.”

“Because of this senior class our team has continued the growth process.  I think now it’s up to the younger guys to remember how hard these seniors worked, and to push forward and add onto it next year.”

Two years ago the Patriots recorded two wins.  Last year they won four games.  Independence’s seven wins this season shows that the program is still moving in the right direction.

The Rocky River boys’ basketball team ended their season on Tuesday night with a 75-46 loss to Myers Park in the first round of the Southwestern 4A Conference tournament.  Dequann Simpson led the Ravens with 11 points.

Rocky River ends their season with a 13-11 mark, impressive in that they played the entire year with no seniors.  The Ravens will certainly be a conference contender the next few seasons.

Butler defeated Providence 75-50 on Tuesday to advance to the semi-finals of the Southwestern 4A Conference tournament.

Boys’ Southwestern 4A Conference Tournament Semi-Finals, Thursday at Rocky River High School

South Meck vs. Myers Park (6:00)

Ardrey Kell vs. Butler (7:30)


Butler Sweeps Independence to Wrap Up Regular Season

The Butler Boys’ basketball team beat Independence 77-71 last Friday night.  The win gave Butler a perfect 14-0 record in the Southwestern 4A Conference.

The Bulldogs’ Marcus Burton led all scorers with 25 points.  Zach Ferguson scored 16 and Anthony Stitt added 14.

The Patriots came out of halftime with a strong second half, but it wasn’t enough.  Brandon Davis led Indy with 21 points.  Ivan Blair hit for 14 points and Christian Truesdale scored 12.

The Butler girls capped a memorable regular season with a 70-31 win over Independence last Friday.  The win gave the Bulldogs a perfect 14-0 record in the Southwestern 4A Conference and a 24-0 record for the regular season.

Independence has made vast improvements to their team, more than doubling their win total from last season.  As most of the Patriot players are underclassmen, look for Indy to improve yet again next year.