VANDALIA – The Butler Aviators are one of the toughest opponents that Greenville will face all season.
The team has two dominating post players with Brian Johnson being the feature player for Aviators – he made plays on both offense and defense – punctuating his night with back-to-back dunks in the second quarter when they made a run to break the game open.
But Greenville did not help its cause with its turnovers. The Aviators were able to convert steals into points with baskets scored in transition. It was a frustrating night for the Wave as they would fall 85-29.
Butler was taller at the post position, and it showed as the Aviators dominated the boards, limiting the Wave to one shot on most possessions while getting second chances on their end. Both teams played man to man with Greenville applying full-court pressure – more to slow down the Aviators than to try and grab a steal.
For a brief spell Greenville played even with Butler. For the first five minutes of the second quarter the Green Wave held the potent Butler offense to just 3 points. And it looked like they might have a chance.
But at the three-minute mark Butler got its mojo going and went on a 12-3 run to close out the half with a 35-15 lead. That brief moment would be the highlight for the Wave.
The second half was all Aviators as they mashed the accelerator to the floor and quickly grew their lead. It was 62-23 at the end of the third quarter, and from there both teams began to clear their benches. And the Aviator bench was deep as they did not seem to lose anything on offense or defense as they kept up their momentum.
“They are a good team. I knew that this would be a challenge,” Greenville boys basketball coach Kyle Joseph said. “We are a young team and still trying to find a way to score consistently. Our defensive effort was there. You can’t tell by the points on the scoreboard – but when your team turns over the ball a lot and gives up points in transition it negates the half-court game. Not only do they have some good post players, but they have guards who can shoot the ball.”
Next up for Greenville is Tippecanoe.
“I know they are returning some good players,” Joseph said. “But we have to focus on ourselves. We need to keep progressing and taking steps forward. We need to reduce turnovers and just improve ourselves each game.”
Scoring: Ethan Saylor 5, Grant Minnich 3, Tyler Becky 5, Noah Walker 5, Will Coomer 5, Noah VanHorn 6.