The Butler High School Bulldogs who are undefeated this season won a very physical and emotional victory over a rising rivalry game against the Rocky River Ravens 77-72 at the Dawg Pound.
This game had some of the top players in the conference, region and state competing when the Ravens talented sophomore Jaden Springer stepped on to the court, while D.J. Little and Gerrale Gates for the Bulldogs went head to head with the Ravens.
This night belonged to Gates and Little as they combined to outscore Springer 54-16. Springer entered the game averaging 30 points per game and 10.3 rebounds. A very effective double team was applied on Springer all night to contain the 2020 class Number 1 player in the state. This strategy opened the door for Forward Darlinstone Dubar to score a season high 19 points and go toe to toe with Gates under the boards. Gates who has a college ready body and is outstanding under the net knew he was in a game up against the junior Dubar who is not physically as strong, but is a real competitor and is willing to mix it up for the team.
Emotions ran high when a loose ball brought players to the court floor wresting for the ball and possession. There was some trash talking and pushing and technical fouls were distributed on both teams. The game remained chippie from that point forward and very physical throughout the contest. The officials did a fairly good job in keeping the entire situation and game under control.
With Springer being held to only 6 points in the first half both Dubar and Jordan Campbell stepped up for the Ravens who were only down by 3 points 35-32 at the intermission.
In the second half and start of the third period the Bulldogs continued to trap and collapse on Springer who eventually got himself into foul trouble. Dubar , Campbell and Marcus Evans kept the Ravens close ending the third period down 53-48 certainly in range of a comeback run.
In the fourth period Springer returned off the bench with 5:00 minutes remaining and scored 8 of his 16 points to keep the Ravens close down the stretch to only come up short losing the game on the foul line over the last 50 seconds of the contest as the Ravens were in a 1-1 situation with 9 team fouls compared to the Bulldogs having only 3.
D.J Little led all scorers with 31 points for the Bulldogs, while Gerrale Gates scored 23 for the winners and adding double digits with powerful rebounds. Meanwhile, Dubar led the Ravens with 19 points, while both Springer and Campbell contributed 16 points each.
The Ravens play next at home on Friday night December 8th when Myers Park visits the Ravens Nest. The Bulldogs will take on the Pirates from Porter Ridge.