Bulldogs Roll Past Patriots 57-40

Patriots Ralph Johnson looking for an open teammate. (Photos by Ed Berti)
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MINT HILL, NC – The Butler Bulldogs rolled into “The Pit” on Friday night and beat the Patriots on their home turf convincingly 57-40. This game had it’s up and downs, but the Bulldogs proved to have too much fire power for Indy in the end.

Ayden Davis scores from the free-throw line.

Indy returned their top scorer Bryce Brooks, but after recovering from COVID symptoms he was not a major factor in the final outcome scoring a season low 2 points on limited action on the court. Meanwhile, other Patriots were once again called upon to step up and they fell short as this team has a difficult time scoring points. The Patriots have scored 72 points in their last two games averaging 36 points, this is just not going to be sufficient or acceptable to win games in the competitive 4A Conference 59. They are now 7-9 overall, and 1-4 in the conference.

For the first time this season, Coach Preston Davis this week who won a state championship in the 2017-2018 season showed his frustration with this teams performance as his competitive nature and pursuit of perfection clearly magnified as the Pats came up short once again.

Action under the boards.

There seems to be a pattern forming, the team can play the first half competitively, but somehow they fall short in the second half. They scored only 10 points in the second half against Rocky River recently, and although an improvement, they scored 19 points on Friday night against Butler not nearly enough to overcome their deficit. The Patriots play aggressive and solid defense and is why they hold high-scoring teams to low scores below their normal game average. However, the Patriots just do not seem to have the consistent offensive firepower required to get them over the hump to improve their current situation.

The Patriots led in the first period 13-9 on some good shooting from Ralph Johnson who scored 5 points including a 3-pointer, Dyshawn Taylor added 4 points, while Sabastian Taylor had 2, and Brooks 2. But they were outscored in the second period 19-8 led by solid performances from Zion McDuffie, Tyler Showalter, Ty Black, Steph Stoutzos, and Peyton Scott combined giving the Bulldogs a 25-21 advantage.

However, in the second half the Bulldogs expanded their lead in the third period and ended the game strong winning by 17 points. The second half explosion was led by 6’5″ sophomore Tyler Showalter who had himself a huge game for the the visitors off the bench. His performance and effort on the court certainly turned the game around in favor of Butler.

Independence will have to try and bounce back next week when they take on a solid Charlotte Catholic team on Tuesday night, and then host the Wildcats on Friday in “The Pit.”

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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.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.