Bears, Lady Bears wrap up regular season play
The Bears and Lady Bears of Butler County High School closed out their basketball seasons with a rough final week of the season.
On Tuesday night the Cougars of McClean County visited BCHS on Senior Night for the Bears and cheerleaders. Dylan Goodall and Lucas Bratcher were the senior basketball players and Jailyn Oaks and Raven Brooks were honored as senior cheerleaders. The foursome were escorted by their parents and honored before tip-off of the boys varsity game.
After senior festivities it was time for the game, and the Cougars were not ready to be part of the celebration. Behind the dominant play of Collin Rose the Cougars sprinted ahead to a 25-12 lead after a period of play. The Bears showed moments of good play, but McLean County’s defense and hot shooting made it tough for the Bears to mount any sort of run. Rose continued his hot shooting, hitting 4 three-pointers in the first half, and the Cougars owned a 47-29 lead at the break. Elijah Flener led the Bear attack in the first half with 9 points.
The Cougars put the game out of reach early in the second half opening the lead to 68-43 after three periods. This prompted coach Greg Woodcock to clear his bench in the third period. Although the Bears wouldn’t be able to make a full recovery the reserves thrilled the crowd by outscoring a mixed squad of McLean starters and reserves in the fourth period by a score of 20-12. BCHS closed their home season with 13 different Bears scoring in the game. Even though the final score didn’t go their way the Bears were sent out to loud cheers and much applause despite the 80-63 final score.
On Thursday night the Bears and Lady Bears traveled together to South Warren High School to take on the Spartans and Lady Spartans in the season closer for both schools. Taking aim at the recently brought to light budget crisis the Bears and Lady Bears shared one bus on the trip in an effort to cut expenses.
The Lady Bears opened the night taking on the Lady Spartans. The Lady Spartans beat the Lady Bears in Morgantown in January so BCHS entered the game with revenge in mind. As the game opened it looked like that’s just what the Lady Bears were going to get. Strong rebounding and determined defense from BCHS held the Lady Spartans to a single free throw in the opening period. However the rims were unkind to the Lady Bears who were repeatedly unable to finish on offense. When the horn sounded to close the first quarter the Lady Bears were ahead, but by just 5 points with score 6-1.
The Lady Spartans opened the second quarter with a full court press defense, and the Lady Bears hopes began to unravel. The Lady Bears were held scoreless for over six minutes in the quarter as the Lady Spartans fought back to outscore BCHS 14-5 in the period and take a 15-11 lead to halftime. Colby Downing led the way for the Lady Spartans in the first half with 7 points, while Katie Graham had four points. Graham was hampered by foul trouble in the first half, ending the second period on the bench with 2 personal fouls.
The girls played to nearly a stalemate in third period. SWHS outscored Butler 11-9 in a back and forth period that saw BCHS attempt to cut the lead, but was unable again to finish on many trips. Then in the fourth quarter the SWHS ladies began to pull away as foul trouble and fatigue combined to thwart any Lady Bears attempt at a comeback. Chelsea Forrester led the Lady Spartans in the second half with 9 points and Madeline Drake paced the Lady Bears with 5 points as BCHS fell to SWHS by a final score of 42-29. For the second straight game the Lady Bears were dismally cold from the field, shooting a paltry 8 of 50 for 16%.
After a brief intermission it was time for the boys from both schools to tip off in the nightcap. BCHS beat the Spartans in January in Morgantown and entered the game looking for a season sweep. The Spartans showed early on that they are much improved from the team that fell in Morgantown in January.
Travis Hardcastle had ten points in the first half for the Spartans and owned the offensive and defensive glass. BCHS struggled with the Spartan defense in the first period, but seemed to figure things out as the first half closed. The Bears ended the half on a 6-1 run, but still trailed 31-21 at halftime. Zeke Woodcock led the Bears in the first half with 7 points.
BCHS opened the second half with a pair of quick baskets to open the scoring and force SWHS into a timeout. BCHS outscored the SWHS boys 12-11 in the period, but still trailed by 9 at 42-33 going into the final period. SWHS got back to the offensive production in the fourth quarter that they had used to open the game. Travis Hardcastle took the ball straight at the Bears’ defense, with Austin Bybee and Heath Holloman also having big quarters as the fouls mounted for BCHS. In the end SWHS put three players in double digits, led by Hardcastle with 18 points, and pulled away in the fourth period to win 69-51. The Bears were led in scoring by Zeke Woodcock with 16 points. Elijah Flener added 10 for BCHS.
The Lady Bears finished their season with a final record of 4-22 and the Bears record closes at 10-18. The Lady Bears will play Monday night at 7:45 versus Edmonson County in the opening round of the 12th District Tournament at Grayson County High School. Edmonson County’s final record in 2011-12 was 10-17. The Lady Bears and Lady Wildcats met three times in the regular season with ECHS taking two out of three games from BCHS.
The Bears will play on Tuesday night at Grayson County in the 12th District Tourney. The Bears will also face ECHS, but go into the game with a 3-0 record against the Wildcats in three meetings. Edmonson County’s boys finished the regular season 9-18.
All the postseason games for both teams will be broadcast live on Beechtree Radio 1570 AM beginning at 7:30 each evening. The games can also be streamed live on www.beechtreenews.com by clicking the radio icon at the top of each BTN page.
BUTLER COUNTY SCORING vs. MCLEAN (Unofficial)
Flener-15, Washer-10, Goodall-7, Jenkins-6, Burden-5, Hall-4, Henderson-4, Bratcher-2, Woodcock-2, Moore-2, Thomas-2, Lynch-2, Foster-2
LADY BEARS SCORING vs. SOUTH WARREN (Unofficial)
Drake-7, Graham-7, Turner-5, Easley-3, Flener-3, West-3, Hall-1
BEARS SCORING vs. SOUTH WARREN (Unofficial)
Woodcock-16, Flener-10, Goodall-8, Jenkins-8, Thomas-5, Bratcher-4
Joe Morris, Beech Tree News