XENIA — Their nickname is the Aviators, so it was almost expected that Butler would let fly with a bunch of 3-pointers, right?
Butler bombed a season-high 11 3-pointers on its way to a 77-29 girls high school basketball win over host Xenia, Jan. 20.
Abbie Schoenherr hit five threes as part of her 17-point afternoon.
Willow Knight sank four threes as part of her game-high 20-point effort.
And Tyree Fletcher continued to average a double-double in scoring and rebounds with 17 points (no threes) and 13 boards. Gracie Price and Caitlin Plummer hit the other two treys for Butler (10-6, 8-2 Greater Western Ohio Conference, American North).
“We’re capable of hitting that many threes,” Butler coach Molly Bardonaro said. “We have good shooters. It’s just all about being at the right spot and working the ball inside and out. And when you do that, that’s why our shots were falling today. We weren’t rushing them, we weren’t just shooting off the dribble where we’d get one shot and done. We actually worked the ball inside and got good looks outside, and that’s why we were hitting them today.”
The Aviators’ previous high for converted 3-pointers came in a 57-46 road loss to Oakwood back on Dec. 23, 2017 when they hit nine.
Butler held a 17-8 lead after one quarter of play. At the time, Xenia had converted more threes (2) than the Aviators (1), but Fletcher was a strong inside scoring threat with eight points in the quarter.
Schoenherr got the hot 3-point shooting hand in the second quarter the 5-foot-7 junior guard drained four threes in the second quarter, and the Aviators grabbed a 19-point lead at the half, 38-19.
Knight then took over the game in the third quarter, scoring eight of her game-best 20 to give Butler a 55-22 lead.
Six Aviator players combined for 22 points in the final quarter of play, while limiting Xenia to 10 points in the second half, for the game’s final 77-29 margin.
Trinity Morton-Nooks came in as Xenia’s leading scorer, averaging 13.1 points per game, and Butler knew it. She rarely got a clean look at the basket, and finished with seven points. Kamea Baker and Helen James both scored six points for the Buccaneers (2-12, 1-8 GWOC American South), Reaghan Wakefield finished with five points, while Alexis Claybaugh and Alashia Adams combined for the team’s other five points.
“They are very young, but they have some talent over there,” Bardonaro said of Xenia. “That no. 5 (Baker), she’s a good little ballplayer. She’s not hesitant, she takes the ball in there; Morton-Nooks has her moments where she’s hard to stop. She’s very fast. They hit some outside shots early on, and we had to adjust to that.
“They’ve got potential. When they figure it out and work as a team, and know their roles that they each have, I think they’ll be okay.”
Xenia coach Jamie Hand could not be reached for comment after the game. His Buccaneers are back on the court Wednesday Jan. 24 when they travel north to take on Troy.
Butler hosted Bellefontaine on Jan. 22. They return to action at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27 for a home contest against Piqua.