Arch Rivals Patriots and Bulldogs Tangle In Conference Shootout

Tosh Alberga going baseline with a reverse layup. (All photos by Ron Morris).
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MINT HILL, NC – This game had everything one would expect when two traditional arch rivals match up in a key conference game. The home crowd at Butler was loud and ready to cheer their team to victory. The usual rivalry tactics and shouts occurred on both sides of the gym at the “Dawg Pound.”

Kolbe Johnson prior to be fouled at the net.

In fact this game was chippie from the start and throughout the entire contest. However, Indy’s magic of the past two victories over the Wildcats and Ravens fell flat early on into this basketball game with Butler winning handily 57-43.

The Bulldogs came out flying high and quickly jumped off from the opening tipoff with a 13-0 run with Indy in complete shock without any counter-offensive mounted of their own. In fact, two steals led to easy layup points by Zion McDuffie and Peyton Scott. While senior Troy Lewis drilled two 3-pointers, and Tyler Showalter contributed 4 points in the period. Meanwhile, Indy’s most important basket came from Ayden Davis off the bench when he swished a 3-point shot from the baseline with under a minute remaining in the opening period. When the dust settled the Bulldogs led 18-7.

Zion Bosley-Slade finishes a drive to the basket.

During the second period the Bulldogs continued their dominance outscoring Indy 19-9 in the period. Senior shooting guard Steph Soutzos found the range and scored 8 points along with netting two 3-pointers for the Bulldogs. Meanwhile, the Patriots could not score some easy baskets under the boards missing out on key scoring opportunities. Indy appeared to rush their shots and could not adjust to the pressure the Bulldogs applied on them. Butler used their size and senior experience to their advantage. By the intermission Butler led 37-16 with a dominating first half performance.

Indy made some adjustments during the intermission, however, it was not significant enough to make a major difference. The Patriots did outscore the Bulldogs 10-7, but still had a huge deficit to make up. The difference was a 3-point shot swished by Zion Bosley-Slade to give Indy some hope. But Stanley Holloway off the Butler bench countered with a 3-pointer of his own to keep Indy at bay. By the end of the third period the Bulldogs had a 44-26 comfortable edge entering the final frame.

The fourth period Indy scored 17 points compared with 13 for the Bulldogs. However, the damage was done early in this contest and the momentum remained with Butler throughout. Especially the home crowd and expected support from the Bulldog faithful kept the pressure on Indy to mount a comeback. The Patriots did outplay their opponent in the second half of this game, they outscored Butler 27-20, but it was simply not enough tonight at the “Dawg Pound.”

Tyler Showalter had 13 points for the Bulldogs, Soutzos 11, McDuffie 7 to lead the home team. While the visiting Patriots scoring was led by Kameron Jasper 13, Tosh Alberga 9, and Zion Bosley-Slade 7.

As Indy prepares for Tuesday nights bout with Charlotte Catholic they are now 10-8 overall, and 3-3 in 4A Conference 59.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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