Bulldogs upset Ravens 66-65 advance to Championship

Ravens Jaden Springer driving on Bulldogs DJ Little. (Craig Curtis)
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The Butler Bulldogs men’s basketball team mounted a comeback with 4:38 remaining in the final period to defeat second ranked Rocky River in the Southwestern 4A Conference Tournament with seconds remaining on the scoreboard clock 66-65 to advance to the title game with the Independence Patriots.

Gerrale Gates and Dubar battle for rebound.

In the first period the teams played aggressively, however, after 8:00 minutes of play the score was 19-19.  The Ravens superstar Jaden Springer was matched up against excellent Butler senior guard DJ Litttle.  Also, Springer who entered the contest averaging 25 points per game was doubled teamed.

Both Darlinstone Dubar and senior guard Elijah Sidbury scored key baskets for the Ravens in the second period.  Meanwhile, Gerrale Gates chipped in 12 points to lead the Bulldogs.  While Springer and Little were not major factors with Springer being held to 6 points and Little to 3 points as the defensive strategy by both coaches was working.  At intermission Rocky River held a 37-27 advantage.

Ravens Coach Moseley drafting final play of game. (Ed Berti)

In the third period Gerrale Gates continued his dominance under the boards while showing  strong power moves to the basket drawing fouls.  Raquan Brown picked up the scoring for the Bulldogs.  Ravens senior Marcus Evans kept his team in the lead scoring 8 points in the period to give Rocky River a 51-47 edge.

In the fourth and final period Springer, Little, Gates and Dubar all had accumulated four fouls.  The Ravens had increased their lead to 8 points with 4:38 remaining in the contest.  This is when the Bulldogs began their comeback.  Raquan Brown hit some baskets and Gates powered his way to score chip shots.  With 2.01 still remaining in the game the bulldogs were down by four points.

Ravens Darlinstone Dubar with a slam. (Ed Berti)

Then DJ Little committed his fifth foul with 1:57 on the scoreboard.  The teams exchanged baskets, a time out called by Butler with 1:25 on the clock with the Ravens ahead 59-57.  At 1:02 Springer was charged with his fifth foul defending Gates under the boards.  With the score now 65-63 in favor of the Ravens with 2.4 seconds on the clock Butler tied the game at 65-65 and the shooter was fouled.  The free throw was made as it seemed to hang on the back of the rim and the ball dropped through the net to complete the 3 point play.  On the inbound pass Rocky River called a time out with 1.7 seconds remaining to prepare for the final shot.  The Ravens ran out of time and the upset accomplished.

Scoreboard Clock in final 1:25 seconds Ravens ahead 59-57. (Ed Berti)

Rocky River did not play with their senior point guard Jordan Campbell who is out for the season with a knee injury.  The Ravens played with a talented freshman and sophomore combination in his spot, however, the leadership, experience and 14 points per game were missed.

Gerrale Gates led all scorers with 19 points, Raquan Brown added 15, while Dubar had 15, Springer and Evans both added 12 points for the Ravens.

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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.